Both an eminent professor and scholar of the Gene W. Hirschfeld School of Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting, Michele Darby won the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award in 1993. At the time David R. Hager, then associate vice president for academic affairs, said that Darby had all the qualities one could want in a faculty member. “She is,” he said, “sensitive to her students, committed to teaching, has a strong research program and is involved in the university.”
Recognized as a leader in dental hygiene education, Darby is in frequent demand as a speaker in her areas of expertise and research, including dental hygiene interventions and treatment modalities. She has an impressive publication record.
In 1991 Darby received ODU’s Tonelson Distinguished Faculty Award. Her nominator, Lindsay L. Rettie, then dean of the College of Health Sciences, said at the time, “If the true test of teaching is the ability to impart to students a thirst for knowledge and the basis for a successful career, then Ms. Darby’s teaching is without parallel.”
Darby has been director of the dental hygiene graduate program since 1989, has served on the editorial advisory board of The Journal of Dental Hygiene since 1978 and has been an associate editor of the International Journal of Dental Hygiene since 2003.