Ok, to let you know who you are actually “talking” with, I will bore you with information about myself.
My name is Richard Foster, but I go by Rick. And of course, I am sure that there are other names that I am called. One of them always seems to be Greg. I can’t even tell you how many times someone calls me Greg. I wonder, do I look like a Greg?
As for my undergraduate, dental, and graduate education, here is a little information on where I attended school:
East Carolina University – B.A. in Chemistry – 1981
University of Florida, College of Dentistry – D.M.D. – 1985
Appalachian State University – Educational Media Instructional Technology Graduate Certificate – 2012
East Carolina University – Graduate Certificate in Computer-Based Instruction – 2019
As for my work experience, after graduating from dental school, I worked in a community health center providing dental care to those that could not afford it. For me, working in a public health setting allowed me to help those that truly needed it while providing opportunities to see and do things that I will never forget.
A few years into working in the community health environment, my venture into the educational arena began. I began teaching oral pathology as a part-time instruction at Indian River Community College. In 1991, I began teaching at Indian River Community College as a full-time instructor and provided didactic, laboratory, and clinical instruction to dental assisting and dental hygiene students.
In 1994, I relocated to North Carolina to accept a position as the Dental Director at Guilford Technical Community College. Although I have taught a variety of courses, my main focus was directed at providing instruction in orofacial anatomy, oral pathology, medical emergencies, and some pharmacology. Also, I cover a variety of dental hygiene clinics and work with the dental assisting students provided limited dental treatment to patients.
Being in education for the vast majority of my dental career, there were times when I looked at how things were going, and when I should consider leaving this aspect of my life. Late in December 2018, I decided that I had had enough. It was time for me to leave, i.e., “retire” from what I had come to love. It’s not that I wasn’t still effective at what I was doing or that I did not enjoy coming to “work” each day. I based my decision on how things were going within my local arena. Although this may have come to a shock of many, it wasn’t a surprise for those that know me.
As an educator, we are supposed to provide instruction in a manner to help others learn, and looking only at myself; I appreciate the help that each student has provided me over the years. Your comments, whether on evaluations or face-to-face, have helped to guide me on how education should be delivered. It helped make me the educator that I became.
As I look back on things, I never thought that I had any impact on students that I have worked with over the years. I only thought I was doing what I was supposed to do and that was to provide education to those that want to reach a goal in their life, as well as to treat everyone as I would want to be treated. Treating every student with respect and kindness was easy to do because each student has treated me in the same manner. I have always appreciated this.
So What Now?
Life after Guilford Technical Community College has been great. I have been covering hygiene in a variety of dental offices throughout the Triad. Patient contact is great, but it has been a nice chance to with with so many dental assisting and dental hygiene graduates. I am amazed at how skilled they have become. I have been fortunate to still be in education. Besides providing certification courses on monitoring nitrous oxide to various dental practices, I have provided certification courses to the students at ACC, CPCC, CVCC, FTCC, MCC, and RCCC. I have also stayed in education by providing orofacial anatomy to the dental assisting students at ACC and MCC, and Dental Sciences to ACC’s dental assisting students. I am also providing instruction to the dental hygiene students at CVCC in General and Oral Pathology. Maybe in the future, I will be able to provide instruction to the students at GTCC.
With much thanks and gratitude for taking the time to visit this website, I appreciate the willingness to spend the time here.