Faculty and staff directory

Joan M. Pellegrini, Ph.D., R.D.H.

Joan M. Pellegrini, Ph.D., R.D.H.

Associate professor

Oral Health Promotion and Community Outreach
W. Baxter Perkinson Jr. Building
1101 East Leigh Street
Box 980566
Richmond, Virginia 23298-0566
Phone: (804) 828-9096
Fax: (804) 827-0969
Email: jmpelleg@vcu.edu


  • Ph.D. in Education, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2008
  • M.S. in Dental Hygiene Education, Columbia University, 1972
  • B.S. in Dental Hygiene, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1970
  • A.A. in Dental Hygiene, Fairleigh Dickinson University, 1968
Joan Pellegrini, Ph.D., R.D.H., graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with an Associate in Arts and a Baccalaureate in Dental Hygiene degrees.  She received a Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education and Administration from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery.  Pellegrini earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education, with a concentration in Adult Learning.
As a fulltime member of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Dentistry faculty, Pellegrini directs dental hygiene theory courses, research theory and study methods, and community oral health promotion.  She lectures in other dental and dental hygiene courses, and participates in clinical teaching with dental hygiene and dental students as well.  In the School of Dentistry, Pellegrini is a member of the Dental Hygiene Admission Committee, the Research Committee, Curriculum Committee, the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Committee (which she chairs), and parliamentarian for the faculty assembly.  She represents the School of Dentistry on the VCU Faculty Senate (leadership group), University Council, the Inclusive Learning Council, the Great Place Initiative Steering Committee, the General Education Task Force, COACHE, ad hoc committees for the university provost and is a member of the inaugural Recruitment Inclusive Champions (RIC) initiative.  She is a member of the health sciences campus faculty learning community and has presented innovative learning topics with the VCU Center for Teaching Excellence.
Pellegrini is a clinical researcher, being involved in multidisciplinary healthcare research projects at the university.  Her areas of professional interest include:  Motivation and communication for healthcare professionals, adult learning strategies and practice, preventive oral health strategies multicultural diversity in healthcare and evidence-based practice.  She has mentored dental hygiene, undergraduate/postgraduate dental and nursing graduate students on thesis and dissertation research and well as mentoring junior dental and dental hygiene faculty.  Additionally, Pellegrini is a practicing clinician, seeing patients in the VCU Dental Faculty Practice one half day per week.
Pellegrini is a member of the Sigma Phi Alpha National Dental Hygiene Honor Society, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the American Dental Education Association, and the National Practice-Based Dental Research Network.   Pellegrini is a certified trainer in basic life support (CPR) through the American Heart Association. She is a journal reviewer, published author and has presented continuing professional education in local, national and international settings.  
Pellegrini is a past chair of the Chesterfield County Public Schools School Health Advisory Board, their current parliamentarian, and a magisterial representative for the Bermuda District.  In addition, she is a member of the Henrico Doctors Hospital-Parham Campus Patient Advisory Board.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling around the globe.