Dr. Elizabeth Carr has been named the new chair of dental hygiene in the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.
Dr. Elizabeth Carr has been named the new chair of dental hygiene in the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry.
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Carr driven to take dental hygiene chair post

Published on Thursday, December 27, 2018

By: Kate Royals

Dr. David Felton, dean of the School of Dentistry at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, has named Dr. Elizabeth Carr as the new chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene.

Carr will replace Dr. Beckie Barry, who served in the role for 15 years and is retiring at the end of the year.


“Dr. Carr has distinguished herself in student and patient advocacy and has brought a clear vision to the department for student outreach, community service, innovative teaching methodology, new research initiatives and collaboration throughout the UMMC system,” Felton said. “We are excited to see how she guides the future of dental hygiene, and dental hygiene education, within the state and nationally.”

Carr joined UMMC part-time in 2004 as a clinical education specialist and worked her way up the ranks in the Department of Dental Hygiene to full-time instructor, coordinator of the advanced standing dental hygiene program, assistant professor and associate professor.

She also served as coordinator of program instruction in the School of Health Related Professions’ Office of Instructional Development and Distance Learning. Recipient of UMMC’s Norman C. Nelson Order of Teaching Excellence Awad three times – in 2011, 2014 and 2016 - she was named the School of Health Related Professions’ Alumnus of the Year in 2016.

“She has consistently demonstrated excellent didactic and clinical teaching skills, mentorship skills and a passion for her profession,” said Barry, whose last day at UMMC will be Dec. 31. “Her roles at UMMC and in various national and statewide organizations have developed her leadership skills and prepared her for the position as department chair.

"She is a true role model for our students and I am confident she will lead the program to greater heights.”

In this file photo from 2016, Carr, right, demonstrates proper placement of a Rinn X-Ray holder for Rebecca Keel, center, and Meredith Loper, dental hygiene students.

Named as a Health Care Hero by the Mississippi Business Journal, Carr is the organizer of “Shooting for Smiles.” After discovering the Lanier High School girls' basketball team didn’t have the funding for mouth guards for its players, Carr created the event to provide the mouth guards and preventive dental care for the team free of charge.

Carr said she wants to continue on the trail her predecessor has blazed.

“I want to make sure that we continue to offer the best dental hygiene education in the state in the Southeast,” Carr said, noting she will focus on recruitment. “I want to consistently get a group of well-rounded, qualified and diverse applicants to the dental hygiene program.

“One of our big goals is going to be communicating that this is a career option for a lot of different people.”

Carr will assume her new position on Jan. 1, 2019.