Jacquelyn Fried

Retired School of Dentistry professor and administrator has been a tireless advocate for the dental hygiene profession and improved access to oral health care.

During the month leading up to UMB’s commencement on Thursday, May 16, The Elm will feature stories on the ceremony’s keynote speaker, honorary degree recipients, marshals, student remarker, and more. For more information, go to UMB's Commencement 2019 website.

Today: Honorary Student Marshal Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS

Jacquelyn L. Fried, RDH, MS, spent 40 years teaching dental hygiene and oral health at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD), earning numerous accolades from various associations and organizations. Being honored five times by dental hygiene students as Teacher of the Year, however, is what means the most to her.

“To know I have touched lives, enabled learning, and helped students feel good about who they are is the true reward of teaching,” says Fried, who retired from UMSOD in June 2018 after serving as an associate professor and in several administrative capacities, including director of the Division of Dental Hygiene. “One of my favorite moments is during an exam when I watch students thinking about a question and then see the expressions on their faces when they have their ‘aha’ moment.

“Bright students energize faculty and challenge them,” she adds, “and shepherding a serious student successfully through the learning process is a joy.”

Fried was joyful, too, upon learning she had been selected to serve as Honorary Student Marshal at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) 2019 commencement ceremony on May 16. “I was thrilled and very surprised to be chosen,” she says. “It was unexpected, but I am so proud to be part of that special day for all of the UMB students.”

Upon her retirement last year, Fried received a citation from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan that recognized her four decades of advocating for the dental hygiene profession and improved access to oral health care. The honor was announced during a UMSOD alumni reunion weekend event. “Many of my former students were present for that, which really made it special,” Fried says.

Fried will pick up another honor in June as winner of the Esther Wilkins Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Colgate and the journal Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. She also has earned two prestigious honors from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA): the Warner Lambert Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene and the Irene Newman Award for Advancing the Art and Science of Dental Hygiene.

Fried has done prolific work as a speaker, writer, and editor to advance the role of dental hygienists in oral health care, particularly regarding tobacco cessation and the prevention of head and neck cancers. She was chair of the Tobacco-Free Special Interest Group for the American Dental Education Association, a member of ADHA task forces on advanced dental hygiene and tobacco interventions, and a consultant to the National Cancer Institute. In addition, she served on the editorial review boards of the Journal of Dental Hygiene, the American Journal of Health Behavior, and Dimensions of Dental Hygiene.

“As a former smoker, I began realizing how instrumental dental hygienists could be in reducing and preventing tobacco use,” Fried says. “Dental hygienists are preventive oral health therapists. With every patient, they should provide education related to oral and systemic health, and they should be conducting thorough head and neck exams on all of their patients. During those examinations, they can identify suspicious lesions and deviations from the norm.”

Collaborative education was another focus for Fried, a former director of interprofessional initiatives at UMSOD. She applauds UMB President Jay A. Perman, MD, for working to promote teamwork among students of different disciplines through programs such as the Center for Interprofessional Education (IPE), the Center for Global Education Initiatives, and the President’s Symposium and White Paper Project.

“The University’s efforts have been phenomenal,” says Fried, who also held associate faculty positions at UMB’s schools of pharmacy and nursing. “UMB is so lucky to have a president in Dr. Perman who embraces and practices interprofessional education. A health and human services campus provides the perfect setting for meaningful IPE that can be applied to real-life community settings in our nearby neighborhoods.”

Fried received her master’s in dental hygiene from Old Dominion University after earning a certificate in dental hygiene and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Ohio State University. Her undergraduate fields of study might seem divergent at first glance, but Fried said political science comes in handy.

“I really loved both areas of study,” Fried says. “Political science helped me to envision a systems approach to health care. I was able to view dentistry and dental hygiene as part of a larger health care delivery system. To me, the world of politics and political forces have always influenced the delivery of health care.”

In retirement, Fried remains busy and enjoys having more time to be with friends. She participates in book clubs, aqua-jogs three times a week, and volunteers at an elementary school and as an usher at Baltimore Center Stage. She’s also a member of UMSOD’s Dean’s Faculty Program, where alumni, retired professionals, and local practitioners assist with the school’s research, service, and teaching activities.

“Retirement is great, but it has a learning curve,” Fried says. “I still am tied to the apron strings a little bit because I have some public speaking engagements and several professional writing commitments, and I hope to do more as a member of the Dean’s Faculty Program moving forward.”



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