Kandyce A’see, RDH, M.S.

Kandyce A’see, RDH, M.S.Ms. Kandyce (Mack) A’see’s early influence in dentistry comes from her dentist, Dr. Willis J. Walker, Jr., who was both a role model and advisor. She attended A. R. Johnson Magnet School for Health Professions and Engineering in Augusta, GA before attending dental assistant classes at South Carolina State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She gained practical experience working in a dental office as a dental assistant before continuing her pursuit of additional education that culminated in her bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene from the Medical College of Georgia. Her career placed her at the Georgia Regents University, now part of Augusta University, as a staff hygienist where she continued as a staff hygienist and part-time faculty member. During this time, she continued to move up the academic career ladder in pursuit of a master’s degree in Allied Health and her appointment to a full-time faculty position.

Kandyce is currently a full-time Assistant Professor of Dental Hygiene. She attributes her success to her mentors such as Prof. Marie Collins and Ana Thompson, her department chair, whose guidance contributed to both her academic achievement” and successful grant-writing skills.

According to Ms. A’see, “Mentoring becomes natural to me.” She currently finds mentoring others especially rewarding because their needs cover a spectrum of both personal and professional uncertainties. She is highly motivated to give back to others because of the help she received and continues to receive from colleagues and peers. Ms. A’see finds it especially rewarding being able to return to the high school she attended where she actively recruits students to health careers.

Ms. A’see recognizes the support received from MDFDI in her career development. The grant provided funds for her to attend the 2014 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition in San Antonio, TX. It also provided funds for 20 hours of continuing education during a three-week online class through the Institute for Allied Health Educations, titled “Teaching Foundations in Allied Health Education.” This project introduced Ms. A’see to a new field as faculty. She learned about outreach project planning and management, and about student organization planning and development. She has been active in involving minority dental hygiene students in community events while being an outstanding role model for them. Her professional development gained through the MDFD grant increased her recognition in the university. This led to her promotion from instructor to assistant professor, her progression from part-time faculty to full-time faculty, and invitation to recruit high school students at the Communities in Schools Conference at Augusta University and an invitation to be the keynote speakers at Communities in Schools Conference at University of West Georgia. She enjoys her role as the Coordinator for the Give Kids a Smile Program. Ms. A’see has authored a book for primary ages titled Tooth Tickler.

Her advice to youth is, “Do not quit reaching for your dream. Take advice from mentors because of where they have been and remember to always be resilient.”