As part of our ongoing series that highlights NHTI alumni, the following blog post is written by Kendra Kuba, a 2015 dental hygiene graduate. She is a certified public health dental hygienist serving over two dozen schools in southern N.H. and a previous board member of NHTI’s Dental Advisory Committee Board.
I graduated from Merrimack High School in 2006 and was completely unsure of what I wanted to do when I grew up. For the next five years I worked in retail, as a manager of a dry cleaner, and, most prominently, waitress and bartender. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I decided to be a dental hygienist. My journey to NHTI began!
I did extensive research on surrounding schools and universities and their dental hygiene programs. I kept coming back to NHTI for the convenience, affordability, and well-respected community history. I applied to the two-year Associate in Science in Dental Hygiene program at NHTI and was accepted to start in the fall of 2013.
From 2013 to 2015, the education I received at NHTI concentrated on a patient-centered approach to treat oral diseases on a variety of patient populations and community groups. The hands-on curriculum focused on teaching comprehensive skills I needed to be successful. I passed all board exams and certifications in the spring of 2015. I received my dental hygiene license and began working in private practice and the public health sector with a school-based oral health program. In early 2018, I gained my CPHDH certificate, which I received through continued education at NHTI.
I still yearned to expand my education and lucky for me, NHTI has a sister relationship with Vermont Technical College. In 2017 when I applied to their degree completion program, I was accepted and all my NHTI credits transferred – which saved me money and time in my pursuit to a Bachelor in Science in Dental Hygiene degree. In December 2019, I successfully graduated with my bachelor’s degree.
All of my achievements for the last 8 years would not have come to fruition if it were not for NHTI and the education I received here. At each junction of my education and within my professional career, it all circles back to NHTI. I am forever grateful and proud to call NHTI my alma mater.