On International Women’s Day 2016 #IWD2016, Jenn Ochman (shown) prepares to portray Dr. Lucy Hobbs, the first woman to earn a dental degree in the U.S. Ochman will represent the namesake of The Lucy Hobbs Project™ at “Women’s History is Alive,” an upcoming event hosted at Marywood University, which will take place March 16 and 17 on the University’s campus in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The inaugural event, organized by Dr. Samantha Christiansen, Ph.D, the Director of Women’s Studies and Assistant Professor at Marywood University, will feature students, faculty and community members, including Ochman, portraying women through history, their struggles and triumphs.

One such woman: Lucy Hobbs, who at age 26, decided she wanted a career change.  She had been teaching for ten years and felt a strong desire to pursue her true passion – dentistry.  Sounds reasonable, right?  However, this was 1859 and female dentists simply didn’t exist.   Hobbs was promptly refused admission to dental school because of her gender.  Undeterred, she convinced a professor from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery to accept her into their program.  In three short years, Dr. Hobbs opened her own practice, was professionally recognized, and allowed to join the Iowa State Dental Society.  Dr. Hobbs was a true trailblazer who paved the way for other women’s success.

Ochman, a Database Publishing Production Specialist for Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor, (shown) represents Dr. Lucy Hobbs at the company’s dental museum, of which she is curator. The museum, located at Benco Dental’s home office in Pittston, Pa., features dental history from 1870 to present day, including an operatory created in the style of one in which Dr. Lucy Hobbs might have practiced.

Powered by Benco Dental, The Lucy Hobbs Project™ is a national, long-term program based on three pillars – networking, innovating and giving back.  Named after Dr. Hobbs, this project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental industry – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others. The project is free to join and offers networking opportunities, education programs and charitable events.

To learn more and sign up, visit The Lucy Hobbs Project website at: www.thelucyhobbsproject.com