MCC’s Polk is recipient of teaching excellence award

FLINT — Dr. Denise Polk, Mott Community College (MCC) Dental Assisting Coordinator and Faculty Member, is one of four college faculty statewide to receive the 2020 Campus Compact for Michigan Community Engaged Teaching Excellence Award. Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education.

“This is truly a well-deserve award,” said Dr. Rebecca Myszenski, Dean of Health Sciences at MCC. “Dr. Polk is one of the most inspirational people with whom I have ever worked, but even more notable is her dedication to inspire others through service,” Myszenski said.

Dr. Polk was nominated for her dedication and commitment to ensuring her students participate in community –engaged learning. She has partnered her program with Mission of Mercy to provide free dental services to provide care for low income families and individuals. Each year she hosts a Dental Fair at an elementary school in the community, where her students set up fun and engaging stations to help children learn and practice good oral hygiene. Additionally, she coordinates outreach opportunities for dental assisting students in partnership with community organizations such as Sloan Museum, Hamilton Dental clinics, and Michigan State University.

Dr. Polk was also instrumental in developing a military bridge program for military-trained dental assistants to pursue civilian credentials at MCC.

A general dentist who has practiced in Flint 1984, Polk joined the faculty of Mott Community College in 1988. She has been a faculty member in the dental hygiene and dental assisting programs; and, currently holds the position as coordinator/ program director of the dental assisting program.

She is a member of the Michigan Education Association, National Education Association, American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, former secretary, and president of the Genesee District Dental Society; and, former secretary and president of the Mid State Dental Study Group. She was inducted into the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. — G.G.