Mark Kacerik, M.S.
M.S. Education, University of Bridgeport
B.S. Dental Hygiene, University of Bridgeport
Certified in Local Anesthesia and BLS for Health Care Providers
Mr. Kacerik joined the Department of Dental Hygiene at the University of New Haven in 2000. Mark has twenty years of teaching, administrative and clinical dental hygiene experience. With a broad range of experience it is his role as an educator that he enjoys the most. "There is a great reward in seeing students solve problems, reason and apply the knowledge they have gained from their studies. It's exciting to be a part of it!"
Mark has taught at all levels of the dental hygiene curriculum, currently he is responsible for coordinating the sophomore clinic at the University of New Haven, which provides students with the foundation for future dental hygiene practice. Other areas of teaching experience include: dental hygiene research, instructional planning and media, radiology, local anesthesia, and mentoring degree completion student projects and internships.
Although most of his professional career has been in education he has always found time to stay active in clinical practice. "I feel it's important as an educator to devote some time to clinical practice, it gives you credibility in the classroom and real life experience to draw upon and share with your students."
Mark's professional speaking engagements included invitations from the American Dental Hygienists' Association, Connecticut Dental Hygienists, local components and the Dental Hygiene National Honor Society, Sigma Phi Alpha. Lecturing on case based test items, special needs clients, periodontal instrumentation, local anesthesia, medical emergencies and, ethics instruction in the dental hygiene curriculum. In addition to his peer reviewed publications, Mark is also a contributor to the Connecticut Dental Hygienists' Associations News Letter: HyLight. His other professional affiliations include the editorial review board for the Journal of Practical Hygiene and member of the National Board Dental Hygiene II Test Construction Committee.
Mark is an active member of the American Dental Hygienists, Association. His service includes: Secretary of the Connecticut Dental Hygienists' Association, President of the Bridgeport Dental Hygienists' Association, Awards Committee Chair and Connecticut Dental Hygienists, Association Delegate. He also serves as the Student American Dental Hygienists' Association advisor, working with students to foster an interest in professional involvement and community service.
In 2011 Mark was inducted into Sigma Phi Alpha, the national honor society of the dental hygiene profession. Membership in Sigma Phi Alpha is comprised of elected dental hygiene educators and of graduates from accredited dental hygiene programs with high scholastic achievement. The purpose of Sigma Phi Alpha is to promote, recognize, and honor scholarship, leadership, and service among dental hygiene students and graduates of dental hygiene programs.
What do you think makes the University of New Haven DH program unique?
The dental hygiene faculty is interested in fostering relationships with students that encourage interaction and learning. The University of New Haven dental hygiene program is the only dental hygiene program I know of where faculty and students address each other by first names.
What do you like most about the profession of dental hygiene?
I like that the dental hygiene profession is still evolving and that the health community and general public are recognizing the important connection between oral health and total body health.
Getting to know your professor (Tell prospective students something about you):
When I made the decision to choose a career in dental hygiene I did so largely because I knew I could complete my associate degree in two years and begin earning an income. I didn't realize that I would enjoy dental hygiene and my educational experience so much that I would continue with my education to earn both my Bachelor and Master of Science degrees. I also discovered that there were many opportunities for dental hygienists other than the private dental office setting. I was inspired by my dental hygiene faculty who encouraged me to pursue a career in teaching. Teaching and dental hygiene have been a perfect fit for me. I enjoy working with students and participating in a process that gives them the knowledge, skills, and ability to think critically.
Published Books and Articles
Kacerik M: "The Effects of Oral Piercing: The Hygienist's Role in Patient Education and Care" Journal of Practical Hygiene 2008; May/June, 6-9
Kacerik M: "Adjunctive Therapy to Periodontal Debridement" Journal of Practical Hygiene 2008; March/April, 8-12
Kacerik M: "Adjunctive Therapy to Periodontal Debridement" Practical Procedures & Aesthetic Dentistry Perio/Implant Product Showcase supplement 2007; 19: 6-7
Kacerik M: "The Role of Periodontal Inflammation in Atherosclerosis" Journal of Practical Hygiene 2007; July/August, 20-21
Kacerik M: "Criteria for Achieving Effective Plaque and Calculus Removal" Journal of Practical Hygiene 2006; September, 20 Prajer R, Kacerik M: ‘Treating Patients with Alzheimer's Disease" Dimensions of Dental Hygiene 2006; September, 24-26
Kacerik M: "Advancements in Instruments for Periodontal Debridement" Journal of Practical Hygiene 2006; May, 21-31
Kacerik M, Prajer R: "The Benefits of Xylitol for Fresh Breath and Caries Prevention" Journal of Practical Hygiene 2006; Jan/Feb, 31-32
Kacerik M, Prajer R, Conrad C: "Ethics instruction in the Dental Hygiene Curriculum" Journal of Dental Hygiene 2006; 80, 1-13