Photo of Elaine Madden and colleagues Halloween 2018 courtesy MainSheet Archives
By Leonard Blanc
On Friday September 20, Elaine Hopkins-Madden, director of the dental hygiene program and long-time staff member of Cape Cod Community College (4Cs) bid her farewell to the school after over 34 years of devoted work.
“The college will not be the same without her expertise, professionalism and pleasant demeanor,” said 4Cs Professor John French. “I know that I am joined by many when I say that she has left an indelible mark on our college and community and we wish her the very best for a wonderful and long retirement.”
Professor Madden began her career at 4Cs in 1985, armed with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science from Northeastern University and a Master of Education degree from Bridgewater State College.
In 2004, after years of teaching and working within the dental hygiene program, Professor Madden was named its coordinator, a position she would hold for 12 years until 2016. During her time as coordinator she oversaw the clinic renovation project, an accomplishment she is particularly proud of.
“In 2012 we renovated the clinic,” said Madden. “[Through] the process of getting that approved and then the actual renovation itself, we transformed our clinic into a space where it looks so much like the offices that our graduates will be working in… I think that process of updating the clinic is probably one of my highest points.”
After her tenure as dental hygiene coordinator, Professor Madden was promoted to Director of the Dental Hygiene program. This is the final position she held at 4Cs, from 2016 up until her very recent retirement. Marianne Dryer, a professional member of the dental hygiene program since 2007, will succeed Professor Madden as director.
When asked about advice for her successor, Professor Madden was quick to keep the focus on the students.
“Keep everything in perspective,” said Madden. “I think the hardest thing is to juggle everything, juggle all the pieces to the job, and just learn how to prioritize. The students always come first, so take care of student issues first and the rest will follow.”
As a staff member of 4Cs for over three decades, Professor Madden has built and maintained lasting relationships with many of her colleagues on campus.
“Elaine Madden has been a fixture here at [4Cs] for over 34 years,” said French. “She has gone from professor to coordinator to director and her dedication to her students and to this institution has been truly extraordinary. I know that many of us have visited a dentist’s office on the Cape and had a dental hygienist ask if we know ‘Mrs. Madden’.”
After years of hard work and dedication to the positions she held, there is no question that Professor Madden has left a lasting impression at 4Cs. Through hard work and dedication, she was able to leave the school better off than she found it, an admirable goal for us all to try and live up to.