Faculty Spotlight: Patricia Belmonte
Program: Dental Hygiene
Patricia Belmonte started her career young and she's never looked back.
"I became a dental assistant out of high school and really loved the interaction with patients and the profession of dentistry in general," she explained. "It's a great feeling when you know that you have helped someone either through treatment or education."
Since then, Belmonte has combined working as a registered dental hygienist and teaching. For example, she was a part-time faculty member at Northwestern University Dental School, a full-time faculty member at Kennedy King Community College for nearly four years, and coordinator of the Dental Hygiene program at Harper College in Palatine for one year before coming to COD to help start its program.
"I really enjoy interacting with students, sharing knowledge and experiences. It's a wonderful feeling when a student comes up to me while in the program or comes to see me after working in the profession and says, 'I get it! I understand what you were explaining to me.'
"I do hope students understand the importance of being educators themselves, which is one of the major roles of a dental hygiene professional, along with realizing that this is not just a 'job' but a professional career where your patients come first."
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