The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Pauline F. Steele
Regent's Proceedings 54

Pauline F. Steele, professor of dental hygiene and former director of the curriculum in dental hygiene, retired from active faculty status on August 31, 1989, after more than 20 years of dedicated service.

Professor Steele received her B.A. degree in 1946 from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She worked in office management until 1954, when she decided to change her career focus and enroll in the dental hygiene program at Ohio State University. At Ohio State, she received her certificate in dental hygiene in 1956, her B.S. degree in dental hygiene education in 1957, and her M.S. degree in health education in 1959. From 1959-61, Professor Steele was an instructor in Ohio State University's hygiene program and a supervisor of student teachers.

In 1961, Professor Steele was named assistant professor and director of dental hygiene at West Virginia University, where she organized and directed a new dental hygiene program. This program was the first to have a full, four-year curriculum. She went on to the University of Cincinnati as an associate professor in 1967, also to initiate and direct a dental hygiene program. She joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1968 as professor of dentistry (later changed to professor of dental hygiene) and director of the curriculum in dental hygiene.

As the professor evolved, Professor Steele initiated changes in the hygiene program at the University of Michigan: she provided more clinical experiences for hygiene students as their duties expanded, and supervised the implementation of a new, four-year hygiene curriculum. Seeing a need for a book that would present an informative and educational approach to diverse clinical experiences for hygiene students, she set about compiling one, bringing together essays written by specialists who were educators in related areas. The result was a textbook for hygienists entitled Dental Specialties for the Dental Hygienist.

Throughout her career, Professor Steele has been an active author and editor. She has written articles and reviews, and has served as contributor and editor for two other books: Review of Dental Hygiene —Questions and Answers, and Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. Professor Steele is also past president of the Ohio State Dental Hygienists' Association, and was appointed to the Michigan Dental Associations' Special Committee on Auxiliary Education Programs. She was associate editor of the Journal of the American Dental Hygiene Association, and was a member of the American Dental Associations' Committee on Dental Hygiene (Council of National Board of Dental Examiners). She has also been an ADHA regional consultant and a consultant to HEW's committee responsible for developing proficiency examinations for dental auxiliaries.

The Regents now salute this distinguished health educator for her dedicated service by naming Pauline F. Steele Professor Emeritus of Dental Hygiene.