1992 Distinguished Alumna
Dorothy Lawrence (DA '80), chair of Dental Health Sciences at NAIT
"After I graduated from SAIT, I practiced in my field, then relocated to Edmonton. I got a position on the board of directors of the Alberta Dental Assistants Association. That gave me a network and really opened some doors. From there, I had the opportunity to join the staff at NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) in the Dental Assisting program. I was hired to help with the curriculum development with the distance education. From that network, I had the opportunity to join the staff as a full-time instructor in the late '80s.
After being an instructor for a few years, I thought I would like to get some formal education in the delivery of education, so I continued to work full time and got my Bachelors of Education part time. Then, I became interested in leadership and became the Associate Dean of the Dental Assisting program as we transitioned it from a certificate to a diploma program. I worked on my education again and got my Master's. Then I became chair of the Dental Assisting program, then chair of Dental Health Sciences at NAIT.
It's been a fabulous career. I've really enjoyed it and my involvement with hundreds of students. I am thankful for the wonderful colleagues and strong teams I've worked with over the years. I don't think too many people obtain success on their own. I didn't start out with a goal to teach. It happened through circumstance and opportunity and it became a passion. I really love it."
After graduating fro the Dental Assisting program in 1980, Dorothy Lawrence worked in the field in Calgary before moving to Edmonton. Since joining the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in the late '80s, she's been an instructor, associate dean and department chair. Along the way, she earned her Bachelor's and Master's in Education while working full time at NAIT.