USD Dental Hygiene Honored for Patriotic Service

Laurie Fluit, second from left, a volunteer with South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented the Patriotic Employers Award to Ann Brunick (center) and Ashleigh Lingo (second from right), of the University of South Dakota Dental Hygiene department and its Sioux Falls clinic.  Micah Miller, far right, a member of the National Guard and Reserve and an employee of the USD Dental Hygiene clinic, nominated Brunick and Lingo for the award. Far left is Michael Lawler, dean of the USD School of Health Sciences. Laurie Fluit, second from left, a volunteer with South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, presented the Patriotic Employers Award to Ann Brunick (center) and Ashleigh Lingo (second from right), of the University of South Dakota Dental Hygiene department and its Sioux Falls clinic. Micah Miller, far right, a member of the National Guard and Reserve and an employee of the USD Dental Hygiene clinic, nominated Brunick and Lingo for the award. Far left is Michael Lawler, dean of the USD School of Health Sciences.

VERMILLION, S.D. -- The National Guard and Reserve has selected the University of South Dakota’s Department of Dental Hygiene and its Sioux Falls clinic as recipients of the Patriotic Employer Award. This award is given to employers and organizations who demonstrate exceptional support of the nation’s soldiers.

Accepting the award were Ann Brunick, department chair for dental hygiene, and Ashleigh Lingo, clinical instructor and director of USD’s dental hygiene clinic in Sioux Falls.

USD’s dental hygiene department and its Sioux Falls clinic were nominated by Micah Miller, a specialist in the Army National Guard and a dental assistant at the USD dental hygiene clinic. Miller is a member of the 147th FSC (Forward Support Command).

“I nominated Ann and Ashleigh because they have been very supportive of me as an employee of the clinic, and they have also been respectful of my military obligations,” Miller said. “Scheduling around my military responsibilities requires cooperation, and they have been very understanding and helpful.”

“We are very proud of Professor Brunick and Ms. Lingo for their support of Ms. Miller’s service to our country,” said Michael Lawler, dean of USD’s School of Health Sciences. Dental hygiene is one of 10 health programs in USD’s health sciences school.

The award is sponsored by South Dakota Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense program. ESGR seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve.

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 198 undergraduate and 79 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.