Home | Academics | Degree Programs | Dental Hygiene | Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

The Dental Hygiene faculty are dedicated, experienced professionals committed to your success inside and outside the classroom. They provide academic advising and personal program/career planning.


Department Chair

Paula Russell

Program Directors

Klamath Falls
Paula Russell
Salem Tina Clarke
Online Degree Completion
Jill Schultz

Klamath Falls

Paula Russell

Paula Russell, EPDH, M.Ed, Associate Professor


Paula, an Oregon Tech graduate, is an Associate Professor and Program Director for the Dental Hygiene department at the Klamath Falls campus. She graduated with her B.S. in Dental Hygiene in 1998 and worked in clinical practice for 10 years. In 2007, Paula started teaching part time in the Oregon Tech dental hygiene clinical courses, overseeing students performing patient care. In 2010, she earned a master’s degree in education: curriculum and instruction from the University of Phoenix and was subsequently hired as a full time faculty member in 2011. Paula has taught a variety of courses in the Dental Hygiene program such as, sophomore and junior clinic lead, Pain Management, Prevention, Ethics, and Restorative labs.

Paula is originally from Klamath Falls, and enjoys the small town lifestyle. She owns and operates a horse boarding facility which has been a family business for 30 years. She also is passionate about training and showing Paint and Quarter Horses, and spends most of her free time outdoors with her animals, or traveling/camping with her family in her RV.

Jeannie Bopp

Jeannie Bopp, RDH, BSDH, Instructor


Jeannie was raised on a ranch in Langell Valley Oregon with two older siblings. After graduating from Bonanza High School she attended Portland Community College, where she graduated with an associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene. She became Newsletter Editor for the Oregon Dental Hygiene Association from 1982 until moving to California in 1984. Her 39 year career in dental hygiene took her in many directions including working in Munich Germany and coordinating a mobile dental van project to give the less fortunate access to dental care. In 2011 she graduated from OIT with a bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene. This has allowed her to return to her roots and continue in her professional growth as Senior Lead clinical instructor at OIT. She looks forward to sharing her vast experience and passion for her profession with the future graduates.

In her free time, Jeannie loves cooking and to travel and experience new places and cultures. She and her husband also have dairy goats which has led her to making homemade soaps with goat milk.

Janita (Jan) Cope

Janita (Jan) Cope, RDH, MS, Associate Professor


After a 20-year career in clinical dental hygiene, Jan began a teaching career as an adjunct instructor in the Oregon Tech Dental Hygiene program. Subsequently, she earned a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene from Oregon Tech in 1993 and a master's degree from University of Washington in 1998. She has been teaching full-time in the Dental Hygiene program since summer term 1998.

Jan has taught a plethora of courses within the dental hygiene curriculum. Currently, she is sophomore clinic lead. Additionally, she teaches head and neck anatomy, histology, and embryology; dental anatomy; oral radiology; and emergency procedures.

When Jan is not teaching, she enjoys exercising, quilting, and spending time with family.

Krista Beaty

Krista Beaty, RDH, BS, MS(c), Instructor


Krista has been working in the field of dentistry since 1998, first as a Certified Dental Assistant, then as a Registered Dental Hygienist. She received her dental hygiene degree from Clark College in Vancouver, WA, and her bachelor of science in dental hygiene degree from Eastern Washington University. Krista is currently working to complete her master’s thesis on the general and oral health experiences of patients with CREST Syndrome through Idaho State University. Over 13 years of dental hygiene experience have included clinical practice in restorative, periodontics, and general dentistry in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. As natives of Washington State, Krista and her family are avid Seahawks fans. Hobbies include music, reading, travel, and various outdoor activities in the beautiful Northwest.

Darlene Swigart

Darlene Swigart, RDH, BS


Darlene grew up in a military family where she lived in numerous locations throughout the United States. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene degree from Idaho State University in 1998 and has practiced dental hygiene in both Montana and California.

After 17 years as a clinical dental hygienist in general and periodontal practices, Darlene decided to pursue her life-long dream of becoming a teacher. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene degree with an emphasis in education from Idaho State University. Her thesis focus is a qualitative research study on the dental hygiene diagnosis. Prior to OIT, Darlene taught an Introduction to Periodontology course and was also an adjunct clinical and lab faculty member at West Coast University in Anaheim, California.

Darlene is excited to teach Community Dental Health courses and sophomore Preventive courses offered at OIT, allowing her to give back to a profession that has given her so much in return. In her leisure time, Darlene enjoys hiking and kayaking.

Salem (Chemeketa)

Tina Clarke

Tina Clarke, RDH, MEd, Assistant Professor

OfficeChemeketa 8-109C

Tina graduated from Oregon health Sciences University in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in dental health science and from Concordia University in 2013 with a master's degree in education. She began her teaching career in 2007 for Lane Community College running the distance education site at Linn-Benton Community College for four years. Tina joined the Oregon Tech family in the fall of 2011. Prior to being a full time educator she worked in a small private practice office in Salem, Oregon and still continues to work in a clinical setting when school is not in session

She currently teaches the following classes at the Salem, Chemeketa Community College campus. Head and Neck Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, Dental Hygiene Clinical Practice and Seminar IV, V, VI (Junior Clinical Lead), Medical Emergency for the dental professional and Pain Management I and II. She has also taught Dental Anatomy, Dental Ethics and continues to assist in the clinical portions of the sophomore and senior students education. Along with her teaching responsibilities Tina enjoys being the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association Club Advisor.

She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Physical fitness and diving into her creative side help her unwind.

A quote from Tina, “I love what I do! Dental hygiene students are some of the most amazing and strong people I know. They are a special ingredient that fills my cup of happiness.”

Charisse Botsch

Charisse Botsch, BSDH, Instructor

OfficeChemeketa 8-109E

Charisse graduated from OHSU with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in 1985, and worked in private practice for 30 years! She has been working as a dental hygiene instructor at Oregon Tech at the Salem campus since 2012, and loves teaching students who have a passion to help others! Charisse teaches sophomore lecture and clinic, as well as the sophomore and junior prevention courses.

When not teaching, Charisse enjoys spending time with her family; including her husband and two daughters. She also likes to bake and would love to travel more! She truly enjoys living and working in the Pacific Northwest!

Jessica Luebbers

Jessica Luebbers, RDH, EPDH, Assistant Professor

OfficeChemeketa 8-109D

Jessica is a native Oregonian who was raised in the Willamette Valley. She attended Portland Community College, and graduated with an associate’s degree in Dental Hygiene. After graduation she worked clinically and participated in various community health projects. She has been to Honduras twice with Medical Teams International. Her favorite volunteer activities include working with veteran’s groups and helping at the Mission of Mercy. In 2012, she graduated from OIT with a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene while working clinically as a full time dental hygienist.  Jessica is expecting to graduate in May 2017 with a Master of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Idaho State University. Her area of focus includes interprofessional collaboration.

When not working, Jessica loves to spend time with her family, traveling, and exploring the Pacific Northwest. Her favorite travel destinations include the San Juan Islands and British Columbia, Canada. 

Karla Smith

Karla Smith, RDH, M.Ed., Assistant Professor

OfficeChemeketa 8-109B

Karla grew up in Alaska and moved to attend the University of Oregon. She received a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication in 1990, prior to graduating from Lane Community College in 1996 in dental hygiene. She later earned a master’s degree in education from Concordia University in 2013.

Karla has worked at the Oregon Tech/Chemeketa campus since the program opened in 2011. She practiced dental hygiene clinically in Oregon and Washington for more than 20 years and holds an Oregon Expanded Practice Permit. She teaches restorative dentistry, dental anatomy, dental materials and radiographic interpretation as well as in the dental hygiene clinical setting for sophomore, junior and senior students. She loves dental hygiene and teaching, so feels blessed to combine both passions into one profession.

Karla is a member of American Dental Hygienists Association and American Dental Educators Association. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with her family and friends.

Tonja Willey

Tonja Willey, Assistant Professor

OfficeChemeketa 8-109F

Tonja grew up in Portland and graduated from Mt Hood Community College with an associate degree in dental hygiene. She provided patient care in a general dental office setting first in Florida, then in the Portland metro area for 27 years. She also provided local anesthesia in an endodontist’s office. In addition, she has taught part-time at Mt Hood Community College in their dental hygiene program. Tonja is a graduate of our online degree completion program for dental hygienists earning their bachelor’s degree. Then, she went on to receive her M.S. in Education at Portland State. Enthusiastically, she passes on her love of the dental hygiene profession with her students.

When not teaching, she loves traveling to see her family, race-walking, cooking and quilting.

Online Learning

Jill Schultz

Jill Schultz, RDH, MEd, Professor

Jill Schultz is professor and program director for the Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program at Oregon Tech. She has been a faculty member in the Dental Hygiene Department at Oregon Tech for 30 years and during that time has taught ethics, local anesthesia, community health, prevention and clinical practice in our campus programs. She currently teaches dental practice management, advanced dental hygiene, and evidence-based dentistry courses in the degree completion program.

Jill earned her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from Oregon Tech and a master’s of adult education from Oregon State University.

Outside of teaching, Jill enjoys spending time with her family, especially the grandchildren and gets a creative jolt out of home improvement projects.

Suzanne Hopper

Suzanne Hopper, RDH, MAEd, Professor

Suzanne graduated in dental hygiene from Oregon Tech in 1981, and was a dental hygienist for 24 years in private practice. She started teaching full time for Oregon Tech in 2005 at the dental hygiene program in La Grande. Suzanne completed her master’s degree in education from the University of Phoenix in 2006. Since 2012 she has exclusively taught online courses in dental hygiene and educational methodology at all levels – freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, and graduate level.

Suzanne and her husband Doug have two grown sons. The whole family loves outdoor activities especially hiking, camping, and hunting. Suzanne likes to walk 4-5 miles a day and during the nice time of the year hikes on the trails on Mt. Emily directly behind their house.