The ADAA/Hu-Friedy Merit Scholar Award is to honor those dental assisting students who exhibit proficiency in four-handed dentistry and exemplify the critical contribution an educated dental assistant makes to the success of clinical outcomes, patient satisfaction and improved office efficiency. Recipients of this award also embody the qualities represented by Juliette A. Southard that include loyalty, courtesy and professionalism. 


  • Be a Student member of the American Dental Assistants Association.
  • Be nominated by a faculty member.
  • Be currently enrolled in a Dental Assisting Program accredited by the American Dental Association Commission on Dental Accreditation


  • Demonstrate advanced achievement in academic and clinical performance (based on grades in both didactic and clinical courses)
  • Demonstrate teamwork and leadership qualities (based on involvement in campus, program and/or community activities)

 Application and Selection Process

  • All ADAA Student members of Dental Assisting Programs accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation are eligible to apply for this award. Program faculty will collect and review applications based on the stated criteria. 
  • The faculty will then select one student from the program to receive the award. 
  • The application will then be completed by the faculty and program director. 
  • The typed nomination form (053) will be sent electronically via email using MS Word v. 98 or later at the email listed on the awards nomination form by 11:59 p.m. (CST) March 15.  It is the responsibility of the individual submitting the nomination to call ADAA Central Office if an email confirmation stating receipt of nomination materials is not received.
  • One award recipient per ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation accredited Dental Assisting program shall be awarded an ADAA/Hu-Friedy Merit Scholar award, a one year full paid ADAA membership, their name will posted on the Hu-Friedy website, and their name will be listed in the ADAA Journal and additional publications.