Lewis and Clark Community College Associate Professor of Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Meghan Becraft has been nominated by her peers for the Illinois Community College Trustees Association’s (ICCTA) Outstanding Full-time Faculty Award.
The award recognizes high-achieving Illinois full-time community college instructors.
“I was so surprised and overwhelmed with gratitude to receive this nomination; it has been such a humbling experience to be honored in this way by my colleagues and friends,” Becraft said. “I am aware of the distinction this award comes with and will continue to do my very best to represent the Lewis and Clark team.”
Becraft came to L&C in 2008 as a well-seasoned professional with 15 years of experience, working in a variety of private dental practices. She began as an adjunct, teaching dental hygiene clinical courses while still providing patient care in a private facility.
“I really enjoyed serving patients as a dental assistant and dental hygienist,” she said. “I wanted to mentor students and share my passion for the dental profession.”
In 2012, she expanded her role at L&C to include adjunct instructing duties in the Dental Assisting program, advancing to the role of Clinic Supervisor in the Dental Hygiene program in the fall of 2014. She became a full-time faculty member in 2015.
By 2017, Becraft stepped into the role of Dental Hygiene Program Coordinator, successfully guiding the program through the COVID-19 pandemic, during which time she was focused on finding creative, alternative ways for students to apply their knowledge during the clinic’s closure, developing effective methods of instruction in both in-person and virtual environments.
Becraft led her program’s full-time faculty in the mapping and design of a process and procedure manual for electronic record keeping specific to the teaching and learning methodologies of L&C’s dental programs. The electronic records mapping successfully incorporated the innovation of Dentrix electronic record keeping into both the dental hygiene and dental assisting programs, as well as L&C’s Paul B. Hanks Dental Hygiene Clinic.
In 2021, she shifted her focus to her current role, leading didactic, lab and clinical instruction in both the Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs.
She is currently working on building a partnership between the L&C Scott Bibb Center’s YouthBuild AmeriCorps program and the Dental Hygiene program to provide increased access to dental care.
Over the course of her career at L&C, Becraft has earned the respect of her colleagues, including L&C Dean of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Tom Steinmann.
“More important than being an incredibly dedicated and gifted classroom instructor, Meghan is a caring and compassionate individual who goes out of her way to help her dental students, while at the same time, encouraging them to advocate for themselves,” he said.
Becraft holds an Associate of Science from L&C; a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene, University of Missouri – Kansas City, School of Dentistry; and a Master of Science in Workforce Education and Development, Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is certified as an Illinois Public Health Dental Hygienist and by the Dental Assisting National Board.
For more information on L&C’s Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene programs, contact the Enrollment Center at (618) 468-2222, or visit the website at www.lc.edu.