CAPTION: Lori Paschal, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, FADAA, is the 2013-2014 president of the American Dental Assistants Association. (Photo courtesy

Employed by NYC dentist Dr. Henry Fowler in the early 1900s  Juliette A. Southard utilized her devotion to dental assisting by forming a dental assistants’ society in 1921 in New York. In 1924 when she was elected as president of the American Dental Assistants Association, it was after this pioneer struggled to break professional barriers and petitioned to receive permission that would allow she and Jessie Ellsworth, President of the Chicago & Cook County Dental Assistants Association, to attend the 1923 American Dental Association convention held in Cleveland, Ohio.

In her recent guest column for, Lori Paschall, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, FADAA, the 2013-2014 president of the American Dental Assistants Association, mentions the June 6 Second Annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration hosted by Benco Dental in Orlando, Florida, and the inspiration derived from these leaders who paved the way. (Lucy Hobbs was the first woman to become a licensed dentist in 1866 after being denied entrance to dental school because of her gender.)

Paschall shares similar stories of vision and tenacity among modern-day dental assistants in her column:

  • Oklahoma Dental Assistants Association’s Dental Assistant of the Year Award recipient Dixie Thomas;
  • Barbara Williams of the South Carolina Dental Assistants Association who was honored with the Dr. Walker H. Garrison Memorial Achievement Award; 

* Courtney Sprayberry, a dental assisting student at Greenville Technical College in Greenville, S.C., who led her school’s SADAA Chapter to raise money for five surgeries by Smile Train, which provides free cleft repair surgeries to those in need while training area doctors (also the recipient of South Carolina Dental Association’s The Mary Clary Memorial Achievement Award);

* Maria Marchant, an educator and early mentor of Paschall’s who serves currently on the SCDAA Board.

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