October 7, 2015

Winners selected for the 2015 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship

Guadalupe Charles, CDA; Sherri Krohn; and Elizabeth Polak-Silva, CDA, have been selected as the 2015 winners of the Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship. These three winners, chosen from an impressive group of dental professionals from around the country, exemplify a commitment to lifelong learning and to the dental assisting field.

Guadalupe Charles, CDA, has been a dental assistant for over four years, and she already knows it is her calling. “I would like to give back to the community and help those who cannot afford dental care, such as myself when I was younger,” she says. Charles grew up in Chile and is motivated to take advantage of all the opportunities available in the United States. She is currently enrolled in a dental assisting program and will use her scholarship toward DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification. In her role as a dental assistant, she has worked her way up from trainee to trainer. “I share my knowledge with my fellow assistants, motivating them to be the best they can be,” she says. Charles plans to continue developing her skills and knowledge while making time to volunteer in the community.

Sherri Krohn discovered her passion for oral healthcare when she began her career in 1999. She worked as a chairside assistant and eventually transitioned to office management, where she has worked for the last five years. In that role, Krohn has helped coordinate the opening of two additional practices within her company, and has become active with the American Association of Dental Office Managers (AADOM). Krohn plans to apply for an AADOM Fellowship and hopes to be inducted next year. “I absolutely love what I do, love getting up and coming to work in the morning,” she says, “and I believe that we can never stop learning!”

Elizabeth Polak-Silva, CDA, has been impacting patients and her community as a dental assistant since she began studying at Tunxis Community College in Connecticut in 2011. After moving to the U.S. from Poland in 2004, Silva earned DANB's CDA certification in 2012 and has continued her education since then. She plans to apply the scholarship toward a bachelor’s degree program, and eventually attend dental school. In her work and studies, Silva embodies a commitment to lifelong learning. “I learn something new about dentistry with every patient I meet and every x-ray I take,” she says. “I strive to take every opportunity I get to learn something new.”

Additionally, the scholarship committee recognized 13 finalists:

  • Teneara Anderson
  • Jessica Douglas, CDA, COA 
  • Elizabeth Foss, CDA
  • Toni Goerner, CDA
  • Monica Mayes, CDA
  • Kymberly McCrary, CDA
  • Jenna McDermaid, CDA
  • Alyse Means, CDA
  • Nataliya Shuty
  • Calista Slomski, CDA
  • Stacey Stanton, CDA
  • Madge Webster, CDA
  • Brooke Whalen, CDA

Information about the 2016 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship will be available in spring 2016. Individuals and organizations interested in donating to the Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship can donate online or mail a check to the DALE Foundation, 444 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 970, Chicago, IL 60611. Your contribution directly supports dental assistants and other oral healthcare professionals.

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