Njeri Dodson ’21, School of Dental Medicine

Njeri Dodson reflects on her time at UConn

Headshot of Njeri Dodson

Njeri Dodson DMD'21, UConn School of Dental Medicine (Tina Encarancion/UConn Health)

Why did you choose UConn?
I’m originally from Bridgeport, and I always wanted to go back to Bridgeport; it’s an underserved community. I liked the idea of staying in state for dental school.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plan is to start my residency at Hartford Hospital, then hopefully making my way back to Bridgeport. I’m looking into either community health centers or private practice.

How has UConn prepared you for the next chapter?
UConn provided me an excellent education. I feel well prepared to move forward in dentistry: the faculty was great, and dedicated. The school has a really great support system with classmates and with staff, and a broad network of graduates. There was support every step of the way, in clinic, classes and residency. Our best interests were always kept in mind.

What’s something you learned in class that you’ll always remember?
Dr. Lamont MacNeil taught a public health course. It stood out to me because it talked about disparities among minority patients. There’s such a disparity in oral health among people of minority ethnicities. It really inspired me to do my best to make a difference. The way that I’ll do it? Go back to Bridgeport.

What surprised you about UConn?
The strong support system. When I went in, I thought it would be me, by myself, trying to push myself. But it was really a team effort!

What’s one thing everyone should do at UConn?
Volunteer. One year we volunteered at Mission of Mercy. It was special because there were so many different providers: students, hygienists, assistants, dentists, all doing free dental work for two days straight. It’s a great environment, the patients and the providers are happy. You appreciate what you’re doing the most when you go outside the classroom.