UBC Dentistry names new director of dental hygiene program

The Faculty of Dentistry has appointed Zul Kanji, BSc, Dip DH, MSc, EdD (candidate), as its new director of the Dental Hygiene Degree Program (DHDP).

Zul Kanji

Zul Kanji

Kanji’s affiliation with the program began with teaching in 2009, and in 2011 he was appointed a full-time faculty member. Since then he has been the DHDP clinic coordinator, the years 1 and 2 coordinator, and acting director of the program from 2012 to 2013.

“Zul has considerable experience with our dental hygiene program and will be a major asset to the Faculty,” said Dr. Charles Shuler, dean of UBC Dentistry.

Kanji completed a Master of Science (Dental Science) degree from UBC in 2010. Stemming from his graduate research (which focused on outcomes of dental hygiene baccalaureate education) he received a research excellence award and a visionary award both from the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA).

Currently Kanji is an EdD candidate at Simon Fraser University undertaking a Doctor of Educational Leadership in Post-Secondary Contexts degree. His research focus is student retention in higher education. Now in his third year, he is the recipient of three SFU Faculty of Education Graduate Fellowships for scholastic and research achievements.

He also sits on the Board of the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia as a director and is an editorial board member of the Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene.

Kanji’s appointment as director of the dental hygiene program is also paralleled with a tenure-track position in the stream of Professor of Teaching/Educational Leadership. This is fitting for Kanji given his current position, his doctoral education, and teaching achievements as evidenced by five faculty of dentistry and two national teaching awards including the 2013 W.W. Wood Award for Excellence in Dental Education from the Association of Canadian Faculties of Dentistry and the 2014 CDHA Excellence in Teaching Award.

Looking ahead, Kanji sees interprofessional education, internationalization, and accessibility to higher education as central elements to his strategic vision for the Dental Hygiene Degree Program. Some of his priorities include strengthening collaboration with other programs in the Faculty and other disciplines on campus, developing new international partnerships, and renewing the entry-to-practice and degree-completion options of the program. “We have a solid foundation on which to build,” he says, “and a committed team in this Faculty who are eager to work collaboratively on these projects.”

Read Zul Kanji’s profile here >>