The School of Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston Presents Informatics Award To Graduates

September 2, 2016 Christy Terry

The faculty of The School of Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston recently presented the Informatics Award to two exceptional dental students.

The Office of Technology Services and Informatics gives the Informatics Award to students who demonstrate one or more of the following items related to informatics in healthcare education, patient care, or research:

  • Innovative use of data, informatics, and/or knowledge
  • Application of critical thinking for problem solving
  • Analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data
  • Appropriate use of educational and/or clinical technology

This year’s recipients were Jasper Axelrad, Dental Hygiene graduate and Nicole Fishbeck, Doctor of Dental Surgery graduate (pictured above).

Jasper Axelrad was chosen for the award because of her commitment to technology and data, and their application to dental and patient education. During her time in school, she produced a number of academic posters using data from various sources, both archival and collected via observation. She was also instrumental in reporting technology issues in classrooms, helping with the dissemination of new educational technology information, and supporting faculty and classmates in their use of educational technology.

Nicole Fishbeck was chosen for the award due to her interest in the use of data in healthcare and her student research project regarding the use of social media as an educational support mechanism for dental students.

Her study of her peers and their private Facebook group focused on the type of information posted over a two-year period and correlated this information with exam times, finding a strong pattern in the quantity of student-created educational tools and study guides leading up to exams. The results are significant specifically in the areas of peer-to-peer education and, to some extent, hidden curriculum.

Nicole featured her research at the 2015 American Dental Education Association conference, along with Dr. Richard Halpin, in a presentation titled, “Social Media in Dental Education,” which was very well received.

The School of Dentistry at The University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston congratulates Jasper and Nicole on showing an aptitude for technological innovation within the dental industry and producing exemplary work!

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