Taline Dadian Infante, Ed.D., RDH, Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Dr. Infante, known as Talley to friends and family, died on Saturday, April 6, after a six-month illness. She was an associate professor and director of the Division of Dental Hygiene in the School of Dentistry at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.
She was married to Anthony Infante, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of pediatrics at the UT Health Science Center.
Her husband and family have established a memorial scholarship fund for dental hygiene students in her honor.
Dr. Infante earned her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in 1978 from Loyola University and spent 11 years in private practice in the United States, Switzerland, France and South Africa. In 1991, she earned a master’s degree from Old Dominion University and entered the field of dental hygiene education. She earned her doctorate from Capella University in 2012.
She joined the Department of Dental Hygiene in 1994, while it was in the School of Health Professions. She was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and program director in 2005. In 2011, she was named interim chair of the department. When the program was moved to the Dental School in 2012 she became director of the Division of Dental Hygiene.
“Talley was an outstanding teacher, clinician, leader and colleague in the dental hygiene education community. Students and peers respected her caring, competent and creative approach to learning that stemmed from a deep commitment to excellence,” said Nita Wallace, Ph.D., interim dean of the School of Health Professions and former chair of dental hygiene. “More importantly, she was a tremendous person and I feel that I was blessed the minute she came to work with me. I found her to be a wonderful colleague, true friend, confidante and fellow dog lover, as well. We all miss her but are committed to carrying on her legacy.”
Dental School Dean William Dodge, D.D.S., added, “The entire Dental School family is deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Taline Infante. Talley was an exceptionally enthusiastic dental hygiene leader committed to providing education and training of the highest quality to her students. Her ability to create relationships and find common ground to advance our dental student and dental hygiene programs will be sorely missed. Talley was a friend to all and our very best wishes are extended to her family, who will miss her most.”
Bringing students together
A champion for interprofessional education, Dr. Infante’s project, RESPECT (Realizing Enhanced Student Interprofessional Education through Clinical Teamwork), was a way for students from different health care disciplines to learn about each other’s roles and work together for the benefit of patients. In the project, four-person interprofessional teams of medical, dental, dental hygiene and nursing students engaged in team-building activities and worked together to design tailored, comprehensive, health-promotion plans for families living in the SAMM Transitional Living and Learning Center.
Top-notch continuing education program
Under Dr. Infante’s leadership, the Dental Hygiene program developed a national reputation for its professional development program for dental hygiene educators in the areas of clinical education and evaluation. In addition to providing timely and high-quality courses for dental hygiene professionals, the department also has become a regional leader in providing clinical courses for dental hygienists who are re-entering the profession and in certification programs for dental assistants.
On behalf of their colleagues, Mary Jacks, M.S., RDH, acting division director, and Becky Wright, M.S., RDH, wrote: “Taline Dadian Infante will always be remembered as a mentor to many, a cheerleader for the struggling and a leader for her colleagues in dental hygiene education. She will be remembered for her passion of education, love for students and most of all, her friendly smile. Although she will be missed by all who knew and loved her, she leaves us better people for having been blessed by her friendship. For us, her memory lives in every rainbow.”
Dental hygiene master’s-degree student Emelda Hernandez added, “Dr. Infante did all things in her life with compassion, enthusiasm, joy and love. Her empathetic nature and humility made her an extraordinary mentor, role model, and educator to me.”
In addition to her husband, Dr. Infante is survived by her mother, Ankine Dadian of San Antonio; her children, Dominic R. Infante of Austin and Sabrina M. Infante of Portland, Ore.; sister and brother-in-law, Annie Dadian-Williams and Kenneth T. Williams, and their children, Zachariah F. Williams and Sage S. Williams, all of Bulverde.
Dental hygiene student scholarship fund
To make a contribution to the Taline Dadian Infante, Ed.D., RDH, Endowed Memorial Scholarship for dental hygiene students, please visit https://makelivesbetter.uthscsa.edu/infante or contact Jennifer Clark, Director of Development for the School of Dentistry, at 210-567-6536.