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Lindsey Cavanagh receives the first Glenda M. Butt Bursary in Dental Hygiene

Posted by Cheryl Bell on October 12, 2023 in News
Lindsey Cavanagh receives the inaugural Glenda M. Butt Bursary in Dental Hygiene from Dr. Leigha Rock, director of the School of Dental Hygiene

Lindsey Cavanagh (BDH’23) is the inaugural recipient of the Glenda M. Butt Bursary in Dental Hygiene, a new bursary created specifically for bachelor of dental hygiene (BDH) students. It was a happy moment for Lindsey, who graduated in May and begin working full time.

Receiving the bursary also prompted her to look back on how she arrived here.

From horses to dental hygiene
Lindsey knew from the time she was in grade 11 that she wanted to go into dental hygiene, but there were other options to consider along the way. An animal lover and a horseback rider since the age of five, Lindsey’s first plan was to go into veterinary sciences, but the prospect of not being able to help some animals dissuaded her. "I think that would have taken too much of an emotional toll," she says.

The idea of working in the field of health care stuck, however. And when someone suggested equine dental hygiene to her, her next step was to look into human dental hygiene. She loved the idea that it was shorter program, and she says she’s always had an interest in teeth.

Unfinished business
After two years of studying biology at Acadia University, Lindsey came to Dalhousie for the dental hygiene program. But the diploma alone was not enough, she says, explaining her decision to return to do the one-year BDH.

"I planned to do the bachelor program from the beginning since I also want to pursue a master’s degree, and the BDH would better prepare me to teach hygiene in the future."  

Lindsey also appreciated what her community outreach experiences gave her. "It was challenging and rewarding to be able to treat the more vulnerable populations. Every rotation taught me something new," she says. She also hopes to be able to return to the North End Community Health Centre as a volunteer.
Receiving the Glenda M. Butt Bursary helped Lindsey finish off her studies during her BDH year and reduced financial stress.

"The bursary made me feel really supported by the school," says Lindsey, "and I’m really happy that this opportunity was here to help me to focus on my education."

Further down the road, she can see herself pursuing a master’s in education or public health. Until then, Lindsey will join the Atlantic Dental Centre full time, where she worked part-time throughout her BDH year. She’ll also be spending as much time as possible with her horse, Mindy, in the Annapolis Valley.

Glenda M. Butt was the director of the Dalhousie University School of Hygiene between 1994 and 2007 and was instrumental in the creation of the BDH program.