Renee is a tenured, Associate Professor who began teaching in the discipline of dental
hygiene in 1990. Throughout this time, she has spanned clinical and didactic curriculum
in all levels of dental hygiene education including Oral Radiology, Oral Anatomy,
Embryology, Histology, Dental Hygiene Research, Dental Hygiene Senior Project, Dental
Hygiene Internship/Service Learning, Dental Hygiene Concepts I, II, III, IV and Advanced
Dental Hygiene Concepts. Ms. Prajer is an enthusiastic educator who enjoys the utilization
of technology in the classroom and initiating contemporary ideas into the dental hygiene
curriculum. She has led experiential education internships in Honduras as well as
on Native American Indian Reservations for the Lakota, Navajo and Cherokee tribes
across the United States.
Professor Prajer is a published author in the Journal of Dental Hygiene, Dimensions
of Dental Hygiene, the Journal of Practical Hygiene and a co-author of DH Notes. Ms. Prajer has presented at the local, state and national levels. She has been the
recipient of multiple awards including the Experiential Education Service-Learning
Award the University's Excellence in Experiential Education Award, and the prestigious
Excellence in Teaching award.
Her professional affiliations include the American Dental Hygienists' Association,
the Connecticut Dental Hygienists' Association, the New Haven Dental Hygienists' Association
and the National Society of Experiential Education. She is a member of the Tau Sigma
National Honor Society and also serves a Curriculum Consultant for the American Dental
Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation.
What do you think makes the University of New Haven DH program unique?
The University of New Haven Dental Hygiene Program is unique in that it offers Academic
Service Learning courses. Academic Service Learning is a form of experiential education
where students participate in scheduled direct service to enhance learning objectives.
Unlike traditional classroom settings, students apply their skills and knowledge outside
the classroom by learning and working in the community. The service the students’
provide meets an actual community need and enhances what is being taught in the classroom.
What do you like most about the profession of dental hygiene?
PLAQUE!! Not really although it does bring job security. As a high school student
I was attracted to the profession of dental hygiene because it meant that I would
not have to take many math courses. Now I enjoy the schedule flexibility and the variety
of employment settings that the profession allows.
Getting to know your professor
To answer this question, I went to the students to see how they would describe me….risky
I know, but here is what they had to say: “Renee is intimidating at first, but is
very nurturing and supportive”, “Hilarious”, “Fun teacher, but is serious about getting
your work done”.