SUNY Canton OnLine Student to be Honored at Commencement

A mother of six who works more than 50 hours a week and has an interest in the oral health of special needs patients has been selected as SUNY Canton’s Outstanding Graduate at the bachelor’s degree level.

Jill Lizak stands with her award.

Jill M. Lizak of Hamburg will be one of the inaugural graduates of the College’s online dental hygiene program. She will be among the honorees and award recipients to be recognized during Commencement at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 22, in an outdoor ceremony adjacent to the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

Lizak is a working dental hygienist in the Buffalo area. Her daughter, Kelsey A. Noeller, a 2009 SUNY Canton veterinary technology alumna, encouraged her to pursue her bachelor’s degree online. “I found online coursework to be an exceptional way for me to complete my studies while still maintaining both personal and professional commitments,” Lizak said.

In 2009, Lizak was honored for having the highest cumulative grade point average in her program. She developed an oral health manual for a course during her junior year and donated copies to the direct care staff of multiple skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities to ensure better oral care for their patients.

In her senior year, Lizak created a continuing education course geared towards educating dental health professionals in treating the oral health of special needs patients. SUNY Canton created a three-hour workshop for dental hygienists, dentists and dental assistants based on her research. She recently received an award at SUNY Canton’s Scholarly Activities Celebration for her poster presentation on the project.

“Jill has 19 years experience as a dental hygienist, a passion for serving special needs patients, and a gift for sharing her knowledge and inspiring others to help this segment of the population,” said Kathryn Del Guidice, director of extended studies and Lizak’s advisor for her senior year project. “She is articulate, engaging and in full command of her field of expertise.”

Lizak is a member of the American Dental Hygiene Association (ADHA) and recently joined the Special Care Dentistry Association.

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

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