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DH grad student Elizabeth Pitts receives Future Faculty Fellowship

Elizabeth Pitts

Elizabeth Pitts, right, coordinates student evaluations with faculty member Mary Grace Ash.

Elizabeth Pitts examines a patient as she consults with fourth-year DH student Natalie Werner.

Ann Arbor, Mich., April 27, 2017 -– Elizabeth Pitts, a student in the master’s degree program in dental hygiene at the School of Dentistry, has been awarded a King-Chavez-Parks Fellowship from the state of Michigan.

The Future Faculty Fellowship program was established to increase the number of underrepresented candidates pursuing teaching careers in postsecondary education.  Awarded by the Rackham Graduate School, the fellowship includes $11,500 to be used toward the student's graduate education expenses.

Pitts is in the second year of the two-year online master’s degree program in dental hygiene. She completed her undergrad degree in biology in 2007 from Howard University in Washington, D.C., then earned her bachelor of science degree in Dental Hygiene from U-M in 2012.  Upon completion of her master’s degree this August, her goal is to be involved in dental hygiene education, with a focus on community and public health.

Pitts has worked in several community health settings and that type of public health work is reflected in her master’s thesis.  It focuses on follow-up care received by children ages 2-3 after initial emergency dental visits.  Citing American Dental Association recommendations about the importance of early-childhood dental care, Pitts hopes to identify patterns in the current health care system for young children that can lead to improvements in access to care.

The Future Faculty Fellowship program is one of six within a state initiative set up by the Michigan Legislature in 1986 to honor Martin Luther King, Jr., César Chávez and Rosa Parks. The KCP Initiative was designed to give educationally or economically disadvantaged citizens the opportunity to complete college degrees and experience career success in the knowledge-based global economy. The initiative is administered by the Michigan Workforce Development Agency.

Applications are reviewed by a faculty committee from the Rackham Graduate School. Applicants for the Future Faculty Fellowships must be Michigan residents in either a master’s or doctoral program. The committee considers applicants’ academic credentials and recommendations, a personal statement of purpose, and how their current goals, academic preparation and studies link to their future plans. Master’s fellows must either pursue a doctoral degree at a postsecondary educational institution within one year after attaining their master’s degree or begin a teaching or administrative career in a 2- or 4-year postsecondary institution and continue this employment for a minimum of three years.

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The University of Michigan School of Dentistry is one of the nation’s leading dental schools engaged in oral health care education, research, patient care and community service.  General dental care clinics and specialty clinics providing advanced treatment enable the school to offer dental services and programs to patients throughout Michigan.  Classroom and clinic instruction prepare future dentists, dental specialists, and dental hygienists for practice in private offices, hospitals, academia and public agencies.  Research seeks to discover and apply new knowledge that can help patients worldwide.  For more information about the School of Dentistry, visit us on the Web at: www.dent.umich.edu.
 
Contact: Lynn Monson, associate director of communication, at dentistry.communications@umich.edu, or (734) 615-1971.