Cheryline Pezzullo

Faculty Spotlight

Cheryline Pezzullo

Director of Community Based Programs, Clinical Assistant Professor
NYU College of Dentistry

Current research focus

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion in Dental Education

Influential mentors

Dr. Eugenia Mejia (Associate Dean of Post Graduate Programs) has been the most influential mentor in my life to date. Although her doctorate is not in dentistry, she has been an advocate for myself and so many students throughout her career at the College of Dentistry. She embodies all the characteristics a great mentor should have. She has challenged me to be a better professional and push the limits of capabilities past what I even thought I could be capable of. She is empathetic and kind during my low moments when I needed to be uplifted. She is physically and emotionally available during my times of need, while also connecting me with other individuals who can help me achieve my goals. I strive to be this type of mentor to my students because I don’t know where I’d be without such a strong mentor in my life.

Favorite course to teach

I love orienting and preparing our fourth-year students for their rotations within our Community Based Programs. Giving them a different perspective, from a public health standpoint, about issues involving access to care and health disparities is essential for any truly empathetic, well-rounded health care provider. I feel passionate about preparing the next generation to give quality dental care to disenfranchised populations and creating a more diverse and inclusive dental workforce.

Cheryline Pezzullo and dental students at a community health fair for oral cancer screenings

Cheryline Pezzullo and dental students at a community health fair for oral cancer screenings in July 2023

On working with pre-college students from the College and Career Lab

Working with the students from the College and Career Lab (CCL) has been one of the highlights of my career. I truly enjoy seeing the excited faces of these motivated young individuals and love the prospect (or challenge) of convincing them that dentistry is a viable career option for them. Their curiosity and eagerness during our hands-on activities are palpable and one of the parts of the program I enjoy the most. I think this type of programming is essential in providing opportunities and mentorship to students who might not consider some of these STEM fields otherwise. I hope to be an advocate and supporter of CCL for years to come.

What I’d do for work if I couldn’t work in academics

If I wasn’t working in academics, I would find a way to make a living traveling the world providing dental care to disenfranchised populations internationally. There are so many people around the world who don’t have access to adequate oral health services/providers and although I’ve had a taste of doing this type of work during my career, I would love to do this consistently and intentionally in a way that combines adequate education, prevention and follow up services.

Cheryline Pezzullo with CCL students

Working with the students from CCL has been one of the highlights of my career…. Their curiosity and eagerness are palpable