The Wilkes Community College Dental Assisting Program held the 34th annual pinning ceremony on August 2, 2022. Eighteen dental assisting students were presented with pins to signify their successful completion of the one-year diploma-level program. The graduates are Karsyn Michelle Bates, Boonville; Samantha Gabrielle Bell, North Wilkesboro; Annalese Marie Bovender, Clemmons; Alexa Taylor Church, North Wilkesboro; Savannah Ann Grogan, Jefferson; Taylor Elizabeth Harrold, North Wilkesboro; Raegan Lane Johnson, Union Grove; Grace Marie Manners, Union Grove; Kathryn Elizabeth Matheson, Purlear; Simone Gabrielle McFarland, Sparta; Monica Vanessa Meyer, North Wilkesboro; Brandi Dyan Miller, Union Grove; Cassidy Brooke Miller, North Wilkesboro; Silvia Nunez, Union Grove; Heli Pinalbhai Patel, Wilkesboro; Maribel Rayo, Dobson; Brittany Nicole White, Ferguson; and Gracie Abigail Wood, Elkin.

The ceremony began with Karsyn Bates, a 2022 graduate, delivering the student-led invocation. Dr. Jeff Cox, president of Wilkes Community College, welcomed guests to the ceremony. Dr. Christopher Dirig, Dental Assisting faculty, was the guest speaker. Jennifer Hastings, lead instructor of Dental Assisting, provided special recognitions.

The Patient Care Award was given to Silvia Nunez; the Outstanding Chairside Dental Assisting Award was given to Raegan Johnson; and the Scholastic Achievement Award was given to Brandi Miller.

Dr. Yolanda Wilson, vice president of instruction, announced each graduate as faculty members Jennifer Hastings, Melissa Holloway, and Annette West presented the pins. Once all graduates received their pins, they said The Dental Assistants Pledge. Brandi Miller, a 2022 graduate, gave class acknowledgments. Tamara Beck, dean of Health Sciences, offered closing remarks. The ceremony closed with a student-led benediction by Raegan Johnson, a 2022 graduate.

The dental assisting faculty comprises Jong Byun, DDS; Christopher Dirig, DDS; Jennifer Hastings, CDA; Melissa Holloway, CDA; Emily Maltba, DMD; Rosy Olvera, RDH; Lauren Shumate, RDH; and Annette West, CDA.

For more information about the Dental Assisting program contact Wendy Nichols, health sciences admissions advisor, at 336-838 -6136 or

Front row l-r: Heli Patel, Maribel Rayo, Silvia Nunez, Monica Meyer, Cassidy Miller, Samantha Bell, Kathryn Matheson, Annalese Bovender, Grace Manners, Taylor Harrold, Alexa Church, and Brandi Miller.
Back row l-r: Gracie Wood, Simone McFarland, Brittany White, Savannah Grogan, Karsyn Bates, and Raegan Johnson.


Scholastic Achievement Award Recipient – Brandi Miller












Outstanding Chairside Dental Assisting Award – Raegan Johnson












Patient Care Award Recipient – Silvia Nunez