Hinman Scholars Named in STC Dental Hygiene Program

February 26, 2024

On behalf of the Thomas P. Hinman Board of Trustees, Southeastern Technical College (STC) is pleased to announce that Dental Hygiene students Kelly Joseph and Aubree Swain have been selected as Hinman Scholars.

Kelly Joseph of Swainsboro and Aubree Swain of Baxley each received a $500 scholarship.

The students were selected for the scholarships based on their scholastic performance, having the highest overall averages in their class.

Both students were Dual Enrollment students while in high school and both previously worked as dental assistants before their acceptance into the Dental Hygiene program at Southeastern Tech.

“Without Dual Enrollment, we wouldn’t have had the success we’ve had at this age,” said Joseph. “All the hard work, inside and outside of the classroom, is acknowledged by this prestigious honor and we are appreciative of what it means.”

Joseph is a 2021 graduate from Emanuel County Institute. She said she chose dental hygiene as a career because she always noticed peoples’ teeth and because dental hygienists generally have a nice work-life balance. “My dad worked out of town a lot and I didn’t want to do that myself. I plan to work locally, so attending college locally made sense. I’m thankful STC has a Dental Hygiene program because I didn’t have a backup plan. This was my first choice,” said Joseph. “I am very thankful for all the support we’ve had from peers, family, and instructors and appreciate the network and relationships I’ve built – another reason I plan to practice my profession close to home.”

Swain is a 2021 graduate of Appling County High School. Swain said she chose STC because she wouldn’t have been able to afford moving off to attend college. “My mom isn’t a hygienist, but her ability to make her own schedule showed me that I wanted a flexible work schedule. This avenue will also allow me to work alongside her and treasure days on the farm when I’m not working, just like I did during college,” said Swain.

“STC prepares us well for the work place, and in my case, debt free,” said Swain. “This scholarship will help with near-graduation expenses with our clinical board exam coming up in April and national written board exam in May.”

The non-profit Thomas P. Hinman Society has been granting scholarships to dental students since 1986, adding Dental Hygiene students in 1989. Since 2006, the Hinman Dental Society has provided more than $11 million in total giving in scholarships and financial support to universities and institutions associated with dental education.

The Hinman Dental Society sponsored its first Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting in 1912 with the motto: Devotion to detail is the secret of success.

Born in 1870, Thomas Hinman graduated from Southern Dental College in Atlanta with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree in 1891. The following year, he joined the faculty of his alma mater and became Professor of Oral Surgery. Dr. Hinman held high offices in many professional organizations including the appointment by President Woodrow Wilson as the U.S. Delegate and Honorary Chairman of the Section VIII of the Fourth International Congress of Dentists in London.

Today, the focus is still on providing the best possible continuing dental education, not just for the dentists but also, the whole dental team. The Hinman Dental Society today is comprised of 800+ dentist members, primarily located in metropolitan Atlanta. The combination of outstanding education and hospitality ensures the position of the Hinman Dental Meeting as one of the top dental programs in the country. With the continued growth of meetings and exhibits, more than 13,000 dental professionals participated in the 2023 Thomas P. Hinman Dental Meeting.

Photos: Hinman Scholars Kelly Joseph and Aubree Swain