Michele Leonardi Darby, RDH, MS completed her entry-level dental hygiene education at the University of Pittsburgh and bachelor and master of science degrees in dental hygiene at Columbia University. From 1972-1974, she was an Instructor of Dental Hygiene at Columbia University; she has been a full-time faculty member at Old Dominion University since 1974 where she serves as chairman. Michele has published three books: Research Methods for Oral Health Professionals, co-authored with Denise Bowen; Comprehensive Review of Dental Hygiene, ed 7 and Dental Hygiene Theory and Practice, ed 3 co-edited with Margaret Walsh and published by Elsevier.
In addition to an active publication record (over 50 refereed articles), Michele has served as Editor of Educational Directions, Journal of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Foundation, Editor of Dental Hygiene, Journal of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, and Associate Editor of the International Journal of Dental Hygiene. She is a long time member of the Editorial Advisory Boards of the Journal of Dental Hygiene, and Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. In 1981, Michele was a member of the first delegation of dental hygienists to visit the People’s Republic of China. As an official guest of the Chinese Ministry of Health and Education, Michele shared current dental hygiene concepts and techniques with Chinese dentists. She also has lectured in Canada, Serbia, Jordan, Moldova, South Korea, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy.
She is a recipient of the Warner Lambert-ADHA Award for Excellence in Dental Hygiene, the Rufus Alan Tonelson Distinguished Faculty Award from the Old Dominion University Alumni Association, the Virginia State Council on Higher Education Faculty Award, the Faculty Advisor Award from the American Dental Hygienist’ Association, Outstanding Achievement Award from the Friends of the Old Dominion University Library. She is also one of about 30 faculty at Old Dominion University who has earned the title of Eminent Scholar, and has recently returned from the Middle East where she was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar at Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan. In April 2011, she was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine.