Monica Soth, Program Co-Chair and Professor
DipDH; MEd; EdD (Student)
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 541
- Phone: 250-740-6397 | Fax: 250-740-6225
- Email: Monica.Soth@viu.ca
Monica Soth joined VIU in 2007 after moving from Vancouver, BC, where she taught dental hygiene at Vancouver Community College. In addition to teaching, Monica has contributed to the dental hygiene profession for over 25 years in roles including clinical practice in periodontal, general, and long term residential care settings, and as an independent dental hygiene practice owner. She has been active with the College of Dental Hygienists of BC as a clinical examiner as well as serving as Chair for several College committees. Monica served as an item reviewer for the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board and served as President-Elect for the Canadian Foundation of Dental Hygiene Research and Education. After completing her dental hygiene education Monica completed a Master’s of Education and is currently a student in the Doctor of Education program at UBC.
Andrew Hollenberg, Program Co-Chair and Professor
MEd; BSc; DipDH; PID
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 513
- Phone: 250-753-3245, Local 2377 | Fax: 250-740-6225
- Email: Andrew.Hollenberg@viu.ca
Andrew has been a registered dental hygienist since 1991 with experience in a variety of private practice settings. Andrew joined Vancouver Island University on a full-time basis in 2008 and now acts as clinic lead for the senior class. As a professional, Andrew is involved with the College of Dental Hygienists of BC (CDHBC) as a clinical board examiner and QAP assessor; National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB) as an item writer; Commission of Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) as site surveyor, and the Canadian Foundation for Dental Hygiene Research and Education (CFDHRE) as a review committee member. Andrews’s academic interests are in the areas of oral pathology, advanced instrumentation, and prevention. Andrew follows an educational philosophy that focuses on the individualized development of intrinsic motivation and life-long learning.
Lauren Ashbee, Sessional Instructor
DipDH and BScDH Specialty, University of Alberta
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 564
- Email: Lauren.Ashbee@viu.ca
Lauren began practising dental hygiene in 2007 with a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from the University of Alberta. In 2009, she received her BSc Dental Hygiene Specialization, also from the University of Alberta. For over 8 years, her primary focus was in private clinical practice while also working in a rural community. Since 2016, Lauren has been a clinical instructor in the Dental Hygiene Diploma program here at VIU, where she enjoys working with the students and seeing them grow their clinical skills. She currently divides her time between clinical instruction and private practice.
Leslie Blagdon, Sessional Instructor
BSc, DipDH, RDH
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 564
- Email: Leslie.Blagdon@viu.ca
Leslie Blagdon joined the Faculty of Health and Human Services at Vancouver Island University in September 2015. Leslie grew up in Victoria, BC, where she earned a BSc in Microbiology/Biochemistry, and then graduated with a Diploma in Dental Hygiene from Vancouver Community College in 1989. For over 25 years she has worked in numerous private dental practices all over BC, including clinics in Victoria, Alert Bay, and Prince George. Leslie moved back to Vancouver Island, leaving Prince George where in addition to working as the senior hygienist at Southridge Dental Inc., she was a part-time instructor in the Dental Studies department at the College of New Caledonia (CNC). At CNC, Leslie taught Microbiology and Prevention courses, as well as acting as a part-time Clinical Instructor in some of the senior dental hygiene clinics.
Lynn Brimacombe, Equipment and Supplies Clerk
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 560 (Dental)
- Phone: 250-740-6240 | Fax: 250-740-6225
- Email: Lynn.Brimacombe@viu.ca
Lynn is the Equipment and Supplies Clerk for the health and dental programs in the Faculty of Health and Human Services. She has worked with dental programs since 2007, starting shortly after graduating from the Dental Assistant program. For 3 years, she coupled her part-time position in dental programs with VIU’s International department. In 2013, Lynn began working full-time in the Faculty. She is happy to be a resource to all utilizing the Dental Clinic at the Nanaimo campus as well as the Health labs at Nanaimo, Cowichan, and Powell River.
Elizabeth Cavin, Professor
DipDH; PID; BDScDH, University of British Columbia
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 534
- Phone: 250-740-6263 | Fax: 250-740-6468
- Email: Elizabeth.Cavin@viu.ca
Starting her dental career in Mexico, Lise shifted her focus to dental hygiene soon after she moved to Canada. Throughout her 29 years as a Registered Dental Hygienist, Lise has built a reputation for her commitment to excellence in client care and lifelong learning. She holds a Diploma in Dental Hygiene, a Provincial Instructor Diploma, and a Bachelor of Dental Sciences (Dental Hygiene), earning the Joan Voris Award of Achievement and the Hu-Friedy CDHA Nevi Scholarship. As part of her studies at UBC, Lise had a unique opportunity to live and work with students from other health disciplines within an Aboriginal community in BC, and later completed the Indigenous Cultural Competency Training through the Provincial Health Services Authority. She is interested in the integration of cultural safety into oral health care as a way to potentially improve the oral health of Aboriginal peoples. Her literature review on the topic was published in the peer reviewed Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene. As a member of the Discipline Committee and a Quality Assurance Program Assessor with the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia, Lise remains actively involved in her profession. She is also listed as a trainer in the prevention, detection, and intervention of elder abuse with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists. Lise continues to work part-time in private practice since joining the Dental Hygiene Diploma program at Vancouver Island University in 2011, where her dedication and passion for her profession has encouraged and inspired many of her students.
Stephanie Crocker, Professor
MSc (UVIC); BDScDH (UBC); DipDH
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 515
- Phone: 250-740-6246 | Fax: 250-740-6468
- Email: Stephanie.Crocker@viu.ca
Stephanie joined VIU in January 2008 as a sessional instructor and became a regular faculty member in 2010. She has over 25 years experience in the dental profession, first as a Certified Dental Assistant (4 years), and presently as a Registered Dental Hygienist (20+ years). Stephanie is actively involved with the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia (CDHBC) as a member of the Inquiry Committee and has provided clinical remediation to registrants through College referral. She is also an item writer for the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board (NDHCB). Stephanie has participated in several committees here at VIU, including Interprofessional Day and Seasons of Health and Healing. She built relationships with the local Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Friendship Centre and other community agencies to enrich the experiences of students through service learning, as well as giving to the community. Stephanie has worked with several nursing faculty to provide interprofessional learning experiences during community placements in the senior year of the program. Stephanie's areas of interest are oral health-systemic health; determinants of health; Aboriginal health; ecosocial theory and interprofessional collaboration.
Deanna Mackay, Professor
MSc, BDSc(DH), Dip DH
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 514
- Phone: 250-753-3245, Local 2077 | Fax: 250-740-6468
- Email: Deanna.Mackay@viu.ca
Deanna joined our Faculty in January of 2019. She comes to us with a lengthy clinical career in dental hygiene and dental assisting. Deanna holds a Certificate in Dental Assisting, Diploma of Dental Hygiene, a Bachelor of Dental Science (Dental Hygiene) and a Master of Science degree. She has had the honour to serve fellow dental hygienists provincially, nationally, and internationally. Her professional service began as a student representative with the Manitoba Dental Hygienists Association (MDHA). Throughout the years she has served in many positions within the MDHA, including President. Deanna has served as a Board Director on the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association and represented Canada on the House of Delegates of the International Federation of Dental Hygienists. Currently, Deanna serves as a member of the Oral Cancer Working Group for the Network for Canadian Oral Health Research. Deanna's area of interest includes lifelong learning, oral cancer, and promoting the profession of dental hygiene.
Tamara Maniec, Sessional Instructor
BSc, University of Victoria; DipDH, Camosun College
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 512
- Email: Tamara.Maniec@viu.ca
Tamara graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science degree and from Camosun College in Victoria with a Diploma in Dental Hygiene. Since 1999 she has been a Registered Dental Hygienist and is currently employed both in general practice and as a clinical instructor in the Dental Hygiene Diploma program at Vancouver Island University. With a diverse background in both the medical and dental health care fields, Tamara brings a broad range of experience into the educational setting. She has assisted in the production of educational dental podcasts, developed websites for dental offices, and has been a moderator for an online learning platform which provided business training for dentists through webinars. She hopes to instill this passion for technology and continuing education in her students allowing them to provide the best experiences possible for their future clients in the constantly advancing field of dentistry.
Clinical Resource Hygienist(s)
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 512
- Fax: 250-740-6225
Ciara Mitenko, Practicum Coordinator (Health Programs) (on leave)
BA (Anthropology); MA (Medical Anthropology); LSB College, Dublin, Ireland
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 210, Room 308
- Phone: 250-740-6270 | Fax: 250-740-6468
- Email: Ciara.Mitenko@viu.ca
Ciara began her career working at Barretstown, a therapeutic recreation camp for children with serious illnesses, based in Ireland. In her role, she managed relationships with more than 110 hospitals across Europe, connecting with children and families who could benefit from this unique program. After leaving Barretstown, Ciara moved to Kathmandu, Nepal. Over the next 3 years, she worked with female sex workers in the areas of education and protection. In 2008 she moved to London, UK, to work with a private foundation to develop funding networks for non-profit organizations in the Asia/Pacific region. Ciara immigrated to Canada in 2010 and worked at Haven Society supporting their volunteer program in the areas of feminism and domestic violence. She joined the VIU team in November 2014 as the Health Programs practicum coordinator and with the joyful task of sourcing multiple practicum placements for nearly 300 nursing and dental students on a yearly basis.
Dr. Suzanne M. Nilson, Professor
BSc, MSc (Southern Connecticut University); PhD Biology (University of Regina)
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 370, Room 219
- Phone: 250-740-6362 | Fax: 250-740-6482
- Email: Suzanne.Nilson@viu.ca
Suzanne conducts research in the field of applied microbiology, and has taught/conducted research at Yakima Valley Community College, Central Washington University, University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, Acadia University, and Vancouver Island University, where she presently holds a faculty position in the department of biology. Suzanne is currently teaching/developing courses re: anatomy and physiology, Indigenous science and Western science, in partnership with First Nation communities, and Microbiology (Dental Hygiene Diploma program). As part of the Dental Hygiene program, Suzanne teaches students to conduct surveys of bacteria in the dental hygiene clinic, and to culture, stain, and view bacteria under the microscope. Suzanne enjoys the unique experience of teaching students to appreciate the complex role that bacteria play in causing diseases of the oral cavity.
Dr. Donald G. Ross, Sessional Instructor
DMD, UBC; Master's Program, Community Dentistry, University of Toronto
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 512
- Email: Donald.Ross@viu.ca
Don is a dentist with 25 years of clinical practice and over 10 years’ experience in the development of primary health care and chronic disease delivery within the publicly and privately funded Canadian health care system. His clinical experience includes private practice, the Canadian Forces, and more than 15 years providing preventive and treatment programs in over 200 First Nation and Inuit communities across Canada. Don has managed relationships with multiple community, health care, and government stakeholders at the provincial, federal, and international levels. Currently, he is a part-time instructor in the Dental Hygiene Diploma program at Vancouver Island University.
Susan Sanders, Professor
BSc, Simon Fraser University; DVM, University of Saskatchewan; PhD (Biology), Simon Fraser University
- Nanaimo Campus, Bd 380, Room 113
- Phone: 250-753-3245, ext. 2895
- Email: Susan.Sanders@viu.ca
Susan joined Vancouver Island University on a full-time basis in 2009 prior to teaching as a sessional instructor since 2005. Susan is a veterinarian and a physiologist and teaches in both the Dental Hygiene program and in the Biology department. She is also the Institutional Veterinarian and is involved with overseeing the use of animals at VIU for teaching and research purposes, and sits on the Animal Care Committee. Susan’s academic areas of interest include anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, feline medicine, and animal welfare.
Geri McPherson, Program Assistant
- Nanaimo Campus, Bldg 180, Room 542
- Phone: 250-740-6161
- Email: Geri.McPherson@viu.ca