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Blackhawk Technical College dental instructor picked for memorial scholarship
Kayla Marks is a dental assistant and dental hygiene instructor at Blackhawk Technical College. - Photo supplied by Bradley Ziegler, Blackhawk Technical College

JANESVILLE — Kayla Marks, a dental assistant and dental hygiene instructor at Blackhawk Technical College, is a recipient of the 2022 Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes oral healthcare professionals who are dedicated to mentoring others in ways that promote oral health or the oral healthcare professions. 

Kayla is one of five recipients chosen from more than 90 applicants from across the country.

“The Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship will help me immensely to complete my leadership certificate curriculum. I am a determined and focused person, and I will continue to bring experience, compassion, and empathy to the learning experience of my students,” said Kayla, who just completed her Career and Technical Education Leadership Certificate from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

With more than 20 years of experience in the dental field, Kayla began teaching at Blackhawk in the fall of 2020. This past January, she came on board as a full-time instructor and is helping teach in the new Dental Hygienist associate degree program. Teaching and helping others is something that she’s always been passionate about, she said.

“Throughout my career, I have been especially drawn toward team leadership, coordinating continuing education experiences, and implementing new systems. Ultimately, I found the roles that provide me with the most fulfillment are teaching and leading,” Kayla said.

The DALE Foundation launched the Liz Koch Memorial Scholarship in 2014 to honor the late Liz Koch, who served as Chief Operating Officers of DANB and the DALE Foundation before her untimely passing in 2011. This scholarship honors her dedication to encouraging and elevating dental assistants at all stages of their careers. The scholarship is open to all dental assistants, DANB certificants and other oral healthcare professionals.

Scholarship recipients are selected based on their professional development plans for oral healthcare career development and mentoring others in ways that promote oral health or the oral healthcare professions. Each recipient receives between $250 and $1,000, as well as access to three products of their choice from the DALE Foundation catalog. Scholarship funds can be used for professional development activities, such as continuing education courses, dental conferences, DANB certification renewal and college courses.

In addition to her teaching career, Kayla, who has an associate degree in dental hygiene from Madison College and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and sociology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, enjoys traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends.