Home > Blog > April 2019 > Seattle Campus Dental Hygiene Instructor, Kelly Mandella Named 2019 Instructor of the Year

Seattle Campus Dental Hygiene Instructor, Kelly Mandella Named 2019 Instructor of the Year

Posted: April 22, 2019 by Diane Smith
Photo of Kelly Mandella surrounded by her students, staff and faculty.
Kelly Mandella surrounded by her students, staff and faculty.

Kelly Mandella, Dental Hygiene instructor and Second Year Lead at Pima Medical Institute’s Seattle campus is dedicated to her students, working tirelessly to help each succeed and thrive in what is a competitive and in-demand field.

Mandella was recently nominated for, and won the 2019 Educator of the Year Award by the Washington State Dental Hygienists’ Association. The award honors a full-time dental hygiene faculty member who shows commitment to quality education and their students.

“Kelly’s commitment to her students and our community are just a few things that make her an outstanding educator,” said Seattle Campus Director, Alan Clay. “Kelly is a motivational force in the classroom, and she and the entire faculty are always assisting their students in meeting their educational and career goals.”

Mandella joined Pima Medical in 2013. She is the third consecutive Pima Medical Instructor to receive this award.

In 2018, Instructor Vickie Ferguson earned the award, and in 2017, Dental Hygiene Program Director Melisa McCannel was named Instructor of the year.

“The commitment to our students is evident in the past three nominations and award-winners,” Clay added. “The extra time and attention our instructors and staff show our students is incredible. It’s not just our students who benefit, our entire community sees the residual effects of their care and commitment.”

Mandella says she’s honored to receive the award, and credits her students’ impact on her.
“I love my job and I love my students,” Mandella said. “Watching them grow throughout their program is one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced, and helping them officially start in the ‘real world’ is something that is just so fulfilling.”

As part of their hands-on training, Pima Medical Dental Hygiene students work in the campus’ Community Dental Clinic, where lower-cost dental services are provided for all members of the community in need of dental care. 

Pima Medical’s Dental Hygiene associate degree program is offered in SeattleHouston and Albuquerque, N.M. It’s takes just under two years to complete and prepares students for an in-demand career. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the dental hygiene career is expected to grow by 20 percent through 2026. 

Pima Medical students graduate from the Dental Hygiene program with exceptional professionalism and confidence. Many graduates say they were prepared when they had their first day of work as a dental hygienist.

During the annual Symposium for Oral Healthcare Professionals, Mandella was presented with a plaque and $500 to be used for dental hygiene education or classroom equipment. She has been in dentistry for 15 years and earned her bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene from the University of Eastern Washington. 

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