Scholarships for Dental Professionals

The DALE Foundation, the official DANB affiliate, is proud to offer scholarships to help dental assistants and other dental professionals reach their career goals.

Learn more about these opportunities!


Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship

The Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship supports the professional development of dental professionals. The scholarship is open to all dental assistants, DANB certificants and other oral healthcare professionals. To be considered for the scholarship, applicants should submit a completed application, along with two letters of recommendation, a letter of intent and any required documentation. Scholarship funds can be used for professional development activities, such as continuing education courses, dental conferences, DANB certification renewal and college courses. The deadline to apply for the 2020 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship was May 25, 2020.

Watch our video to learn more about the Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship, or visit the link below to learn more about Liz Koch:

About Liz Koch

The Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship is made possible by the DALE Foundation’s generous donors. A donation in support of the Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship helps oral healthcare professionals reach their professional development goals and supports their mentorship activities.

To make a contribution, visit our donation page.

2020 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship Winners

Jorge Colon Jr.

Jorge Colon Jr., of Harrington, Delaware, has been working as a dental assistant for about seven years, currently with a public health clinic in Georgetown, Delaware. Colon also works in dental assisting education at Delaware Technical Community College. He plans to use his scholarship funds to take DANB’s Infection Control and General Chairside Assisting exams to earn Certified Dental Assistant™ (CDA®) certification.

“In my roles, I help bring back patients’ smiles, as well as bring new knowledge to those who wish to elevate their education in the dental field,” Colon shares. “I am seeking to become DANB certified, because it is my hope to elevate our educational program and continue to pass on my knowledge and experience.”

Dalena Ha

Dalena Ha, of Hillsboro, Oregon, works at Kaiser Permanente as a dental assistant and is currently attending Johns Hopkins University to pursue a biotechnology master’s degree with a concentration in regenerative and stem cell technologies. In the past, Ha worked as a dental assistant with dental services at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in conjunction with Oregon Health and Science University. She plans to use her scholarship funds toward dental school application and ultimately aims to advocate for the special needs and medically complex patient population.

“I strive to improve my knowledge in patient care,” Ha says. “Patients look to their providers for support to get through obstacles in their lives. Through my personal work experiences, I have learned that honing my patient-care skills — such as being compassionate and open-minded — will allow me to provide extended support for my patients, as well as ensure their safety.”

Valinda Johnston

Valinda Johnston, CDA, of Pleasant Grove, Utah, has been working as a dental assistant for more than 30 years. She also has experience as a treatment coordinator, and with coordinating and teaching continuing dental education offered by her dentist employer, as well as providing in-office consulting nationwide. Johnston now is pursuing a Health Science and Services degree at Brigham Young University-Idaho, with plans to use her scholarship funds toward this tuition cost.

“As a French author said, ‘A goal without a plan is just a wish.’ I have always wished to go back to school and earn my bachelor’s degree,” Johnston says. “Life has brought many challenges and hardships that put my goal of going back to school on hold. It is the right time now. I have the plan and an attainable goal. In the future, I hope to continue working in the dental field, teaching and consulting, and in dental research.”

Scholarship finalists

This year, the scholarship committee also selected two finalists, who will receive one DALE Foundation product of their choice.

  • Vanessa Garcia, CDA
  • Pamela Smith, CDA

See the 2019 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship winners

See the 2018 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship winners and finalists
See the 2017 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship winners and finalists
See the 2016 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship winners
See the 2015 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship winners and finalists 
See the 2014 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship winners and finalists

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