Convocation Spotlight - Alicia Howery, '21 BSc DH

Convocation Spotlight - Alicia Howery, '21 BSc DH

Tarwinder Rai - 24 June 2021

Alicia Howery (DH ’21) is an advocate. The dental hygiene student has been raising her voice as class president and volunteer for numerous non-profit organizations to enhance and improve opportunities for those in her community.

Today as she graduates, her advocacy efforts will now extend to the dental hygiene health care profession.

“The importance of ensuring that health care is accessible to individuals with disabilities has become a strong interest of mine which I hope to continue to pursue in my future career,” says Howery, who has been class president for the past three years. “I was fully engaged in my role as president and advocating for my class throughout the year, acting as their voice when needing to speak to faculty, being a strong presence on the Dental Student Association (DSA) meeting and encouraging my class’s involvement.”

Howery says increasing the dental hygiene students’ presence and representation at DSA meetings resulted in significant changes to the DSA’s constitution. These changes resulted in dental hygiene students being able to run for treasurer, vice president internal and president.

“Having the dental hygiene program more equally represented on the DSA is something that I am very proud of being a part of,” she says. Howery’s advocacy didn’t just stop there. When she realized students weren’t fully accessing university bursary funds, she took it upon herself to determine why.

“I found many of my classmates simply did not know how to access bursaries. When the help of the dental hygiene program and the registrar’s office, I was able to organize an information session for the entire program to learn more about how to access this financial support,” said Howery.

Howery’s involvement in fundraising and events is long and even amidst a pandemic, she kept students engaged.

She served as the dental hygiene executive member for the annual Multidisciplinary Health Sciences Workshop, she helped plan the Dental Jam, a Halloween Scavenger Hunt, volunteered with SHINE and Sharing Smiles Day, MMI volunteer, she was the Faculty Academic Standing and Promotion Committee Dental Hygiene student representative, and she the Canadian Dental Hygiene Association Student Leader for the U of A.

But one her most memorable accomplishments comes from a small farm – a U-Pick strawberry farm she runs with her father.

What started out a simple hobby for the father-daughter duo, has grown to be a successful urban u-pick farm. And realizing this pandemic was creating extra challenges for Alberta farmers, being one of the newest members of the Alberta Farm Fresh Producers Association (AFFPA) she helped create COVID-19 U-Pick guidelines and best practices for farmers.

“We were not getting any specific direction from Alberta Health Services and the government on how we were to handle the upcoming season. I felt my experience with from my two years in program made me uniquely positioned to provide input from my knowledge of infection prevention and control, as al the use of personal protective equipment,” says Howery. “Our committee spent two months creating documents for our customers outlining safety protocols for a safe and successful season.”