Carol Dahlke honored by UMAA

The University of Minnesota Alumni Association (UMAA) honored Twin Cities’ dental hygienist and practice management consultant Carol Dahlke, MDH, at a celebratory event at the McNamara Alumni Center on October 19, 2017. 

Dahlke received the UMAA’s prestigious Alumni Service Award in recognition of outstanding volunteer service to the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. 

“Carol has worked tirelessly on behalf of the School of Dentistry and generously shares and models her enthusiasm for patient care, alumni involvement and community service,” says Gary Anderson, interim dean of the School of Dentistry. “She is a leader and unwavering champion of enhanced oral health care for patients with special oral health care needs, and proudly represents the University of Minnesota as a graduate, a volunteer and a fan of all that is Maroon & Gold.”  

Carol Dahlke graduated with a GDH in 1984. She returned to the dental school in 1998 as a guest lecturer in the Division of Dental Hygiene and, for eight years, helped to educate students about the needs and challenges of providing oral health to people with Down syndrome. In 2007, she earned her bachelor of science in dental hygiene degree and, in 2010, was the first graduate from the dental school’s new Master of Dental Hygiene Program. She is currently employed as a consultant for Accelerated Practice Concepts. 

Dahlke served for seven years as a member of the School of Dentistry Alumni Society (SODAS) Board in positions that included president in 2010. Under her leadership, the society expanded its services and began reaching out to engage students. Additionally, she served on three School of Dentistry search committees, is a volunteer affiliate faculty member in the Division of Periodontology, and is a member of the school’s Continuing Dental Education External Advisory Board (since 2014). 

A lifelong member of the U-M Alumni Association, she is a regular volunteer for School of Dentistry participation in the UMAA-sponsored Day of Service and at the U-M homecoming parade. She is a member of the University’s Legislative Action Network, and is a new member of the President’s Club. Recently, she established the Stacie Kvam Carlson Memorial Scholarship in honor of her classmate who died in January 2017. 

In 2008, the School of Dentistry Alumni Society named her its distinguished dental hygiene alumna of the year. 

Additionally, she’s been involved since 1997 with Special Olympics Minnesota, serving as a clinical director and coach. She established and directs Special Smiles in Minnesota, a dental screening program for Special Olympics athletes, and has inspired dental students and practicing dentists to volunteer. She has had the privilege to travel to Japan and China with the Special Smiles program, as the only dental hygienist invited to those Special Olympic World Games. 

In 2006, Carol received the Award of Distinction by Sunstar Butler/RDH magazine. This award recognizes dental hygienists who have had a profound impact in their profession and community. 

Carol Dahlke
Carol Dahlke