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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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The scholarships listed below are available to students currently enrolled in either the traditional dental hygiene program or the online completion degree program. Application enrollment period: February 1 - 29, 2016. 

To apply for these scholarships through Scholarship Finder, visit

Nancy Geistfeld Thomas Scholarship

Nancy G Thomas

Professor Nancy Geistfeld Thomas taught for thirty-seven years in the Dental Hygiene Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato retiring in December 2013.  During her tenure she devoted the majority of her time teaching first year dental hygiene students having a special passion for pre-clinic and first quarter/semester clinic courses.  Upon her retirement she initiated a $400 scholarship to reward an outstanding first year student.  Any junior dental hygiene student who has completed fall semester of the MSU Dental Hygiene Program and has a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher is eligible to apply. Please complete the application and have one of your dental hygiene or basic science faculty members fill out the faculty recommendation form.  

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Alice K. Weed Endowment for Dental Hygiene

Alice K. Weed

Professor Alice K. Weed taught for twenty–four years in the Dental Hygiene Department of Minnesota State University, Mankato. As a student, Alice earned an A.S. in Dental Hygiene, a BS in Open Studies, and a MS in Health Science: Community Health, all at MSU. Upon her retirement in 1998, Alice established an endowment to further support Dental Hygiene Education at MSU.

Alice has been deemed a "mover and shaker" at establishing assistance to the underserved. During her tenure as a professor she implemented an annual externship to Native American reservations. Alice initiated the first partnerships between Dental Hygiene students and long–term care facilities. Students are able to provide a service and gain experience by providing free oral health care to nursing home residents. Alice also instigated a "special needs" class so students within her department would learn how to serve individuals with disabilities.

Alice pursued private funding to cover the cost of providing free health care in the community. She exemplifies service to mankind and has demonstrated exceptional dedication to humanitarian contributions and achievements.

In keeping with her community service traditions, Alice established an endowment for dental hygiene students who share her same ideals: leadership, community service, and volunteer activities. Alice wishes to recognize these individuals with this particular award.

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Dr. Deborah O. Strand Dental Hygiene Endowment

Deborah Strand

Deborah O'Keefe Strand graduated from Mankato State University in 1985 with a degree in dental hygiene. After being accepted at MSU, Debi almost didn't start school because she didn't have the funds to buy her hygiene instruments. Her parents were not able to provide assistance, but by working extra hours she came up with the funds. Debi states that she looks back now and realizes there are people who may never have the opportunity to fulfill their career goals because of finances.

Debi not only graduated from MSU, but continued her education and is now a dentist with a private practice in Florida. She feels blessed to have achieved her career goals and feels compelled to help today's students do the same. Debi decided to establish an endowment that would support beginning dental hygiene students with the purchase of their hygiene instruments.

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MSU Foundation Scholarship

A minimum of one junior and one senior student will be selected based on financial need only. These students must be funding at least 50% of their education themselves and must currently hold a part–time job. The junior will use the money towards SS tuition and the senior will receive a check and the money will be used for regional board expenses.

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