5 Questions With ... Dr. Lynn Russell

Lynn Russell

Lynn Russell, RDH, Ed.D.
Chair and Associate Professor
Department of Dental Hygiene
University of Tennessee Health Science Center
College of Dentistry

1. What makes you excited to go to work each day?

I really love my students. Pair that with the best faculty one could hope for and a supportive environment like University of Tennessee Health Science Center and well . . . Why wouldn’t I be excited?

2. How has the COVID-19 pandemic changed dental education?

We have been so ensconced in our face-to-face delivery that we have had to rethink student engagement. The challenges that presented were almost overwhelming to some. I think many of our students may have felt like they had to teach themselves. We persevered, and now we will have a viable plan if we should ever have to go back to the “pandemic protocol.”

3. If you couldn’t be in dental education, what field would you have chosen for a career?

This is the hardest question. When I graduated from college in 1975, there were not many options for women . . . at least not the “acceptable choices” we have now. I think I would have taught English in college.

4. What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I only planned to work for three years and retire. It’s been 46 years and I have no plans to retire. It seems to shock people that I had no plans for any type of career.

5. If you could be in any movie, what part would you want to play?

Hmm. I see myself as the Scarlet O’Hara type. Gone With the Wind. I polled my friends to see what they thought, and they said Weezer in Steel Magnolias. Guess I’m a little off.