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 Coordinators

Klamath Falls   Krista Beaty
Salem Paula Hendrix
Online Degree Completion Paula Russell

Department Chair

Paula Russell

Paula, an Oregon Tech graduate, serves as Professor and Department Chair for the Dental Hygiene department. She graduated with her B.S. in Dental Hygiene in 1998. In 2007, Paula started teaching part time in the Oregon Tech dental hygiene clinic, overseeing students performing patient care. In 2010, she earned an M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction and started her full time career 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, Radiology, and Restorative labs. Paula's more recent teaching activities are online and serves an additional role as Online Program Coordinator for the online Bachelor's in Dental Hygiene Degree Completion Program, which provides a self-paced, online option for practicing hygienists to finish their B.S. degree in Dental Hygiene.

Paula is originally from Klamath Falls, and enjoys the small town lifestyle. She owns and operates an equine boarding facility which has been a family business for 30+ years. She also is passionate about training and showing halter and performance horses, and spends most of her free time outdoors with her animals, gardening, or deep sea fishing.

Klamath Falls

Darlene Swigart

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 in 1998 and earned a Master of Science in 2018, both from Idaho State University. She 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. Prior to Oregon Tech, Darlene taught Periodontology and was also a clinical and lab adjunct faculty member at West Coast University in Anaheim, California. At Oregon Tech, Darlene is the Sophomore Clinic Lead Instructor and teaches the Prevention course series. She has taught a variety of courses while at Oregon Tech including Community Health, Instructional Methods, and Introduction to Dental Hygiene. Her research interests are in dental hygiene diagnosis and treatment planning, head and neck cancer prevention, and social determinants of health factors in dentistry. Darlene serves as co-chair of the Klamath Basin Oral Health Coalition. She loves teaching and appreciates giving back to a profession that has given her so much in return. In her leisure time, Darlene enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and kayaking.

Jeannie Bopp

Jeannie graduated from Portland Community College in 1976 with an Associates degree in dental hygiene.  She later obtained her bachelor’s degree from Oregon Tech and a Master of Science degree in Allied Health in 2020.  Her long career in dental hygiene took her in many directions including working in a periodontal practice in Munich Germany and coordinating a mobile dental van project in Modesto California.  In 2015, Jeannie returned to her roots and began her teaching career at Oregon Tech.   Her teaching responsibilities include senior lead instructor, medical emergencies, and a junior prevention series.  She is also the instructor for the International Externship Program (IEP) taking senior level students to a global site to give dental hygiene services to underserved populations.  This combines her passion for travel and cultural learning with teaching and developing outreach compassion in students. 

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 goatmilk soaps and products.

Krista Beaty

Krista is the Program Site Coordinator and Restorative Lead Instructor for the Klamath Falls Campus.  She is responsible for coordinating continuing education and certification courses for restorative certification in Oregon. Her other teaching commitments are in dental materials, and periodontics. 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 from Eastern Washington University, and her Master of Science degree from Idaho State University. Krista is active in research regarding patients with limited scleroderma and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has over 19 years of dental hygiene experience, which involve 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. Other interests include music, reading, travel, and various outdoor activities in the beautiful Northwest.

Stacie Neely

Stacie grew up in Klamath Falls and graduated from Oregon Tech in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. After graduation she worked as a clinical dental hygienist at various private dental offices in Southern Oregon. She has been working as an adjunct instructor in the dental hygiene department at Oregon Tech since 2016 and in 2022 became a full-time faculty member in the department. Teaching responsibilities have included dental ethics, head/neck anatomy, histology/embryology, and pharmacology. She also works as a clinical instructor as well in radiology labs. Stacie is currently working on completing her Master of Science degree in Allied Health from Oregon Tech, expected to graduate Summer 2023. In her downtime she enjoys camping and four wheeling on the sand dunes at the Oregon coast with her husband, stepson, and her two dogs.

Salem (Chemeketa)

Paula Hendrix

Paula grew up in beautiful Central Oregon. She graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene and earned her Master of Education degree from Concordia University in 2013. She practiced dental hygiene in Washington and Oregon for over 28 years and has been involved in teaching and administration for 14 years. 

Paula has taught a variety of courses including Pain Management, Ethics, Periodontology, Dental Anatomy, Dental Practice Management, Educational Methods, and all levels of clinic. She believes in teaching the importance of giving back to the profession by volunteering and serving others. One way Paula has stayed involved with her profession has been by working as an anesthesia and dental hygiene clinical board examiner in several states.

Paula enjoys spending time with her husband, three grown children and spouses, and grandchildren. She loves to travel, enjoy the outdoors, gardening, and anything arts and crafts related.

Charisse Botsch

Charisse graduated from OHSU with a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene in 1985, and worked in private practice for over 30 years! She has been an instructor at Oregon Tech-Salem campus since 2012, and has been teaching full time in the dental hygiene department since 2015. Her current teaching commitments are as the sophomore clinical lead and the sophomore prevention courses. She loves teaching students who have a passion to help others! When not teaching, Charisse enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. She is known for her phenomenal baking skills, which is one of her passions. She also enjoys traveling and hopes to experience more in the future. She truly enjoys living and working in the Pacific Northwest!

Jessica Luebbers

Jessica is a native Oregonian who was raised in the Willamette Valley. She attended Portland Community College, and graduated with a certificate in dental assisting and 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 Oregon Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene while working full time clinically as a dental hygienist. She earned a Master of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from Idaho State University in 2017. Her area of study included interprofessional collaboration and education. She is currently working on a Doctoral Degree at George Fox University studying educational leadership and curriculum design.

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

Emily Gustafsonplummer
Emily is an Oregon Tech alumna, she graduated with her Bachelor's of Science in Dental Hygiene at the Salem campus in 2017. She has practiced dental hygiene for the past four years in private practice. Even as a student, Emily knew she wanted to pursue a career in teaching. In 2020, she had to opportunity to become a clinical adjunct instructor for the dental hygiene department on the Salem Campus and eventually became a full time faculty member. She is the senior clinic lead among teaching Ethics and Emergency Procedures. When she's not teaching, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband and four kids. Her family loves spending time at the Oregon Coast. Emily also loves crafting, kayaking and golfing. 

Dr. Abigail Rollins

Dr. Abigail Rollins grew up in Salem, Oregon. She graduated from at the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in English literature in 1981. Returning to her love of science and diagnosis, she studied pre-dental at Western Oregon University. In 1989 she graduated from Oregon Health and Sciences University with her doctorate.

Dr. Rollins enjoyed teaching Chemeketa Community College dental assisting students in her private practice each year. That experience led her to pursue teaching as a second career. After retiring from 27 years of practice, she began as an adjunct clinic instructor in 2017 at Oregon Tech in the Dental Hygiene Program on the Chemeketa campus. In 2020 she became the restorative lead instructor teaching hygiene students the skills needed to practice as Restorative Hygienists.

She is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry and its Oral Medicine Study Club. She is also a member of the American Dental Education Association.

She lives with her husband Rayin Independence and enjoys beekeeping, martial arts, playing the guitar and soap making.