Faculty and staff directory

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

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

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
Dr. Joan Pellegrini graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with Associate and Baccalaureate degrees in Dental Hygiene. She received a Master of Science Degree in Dental Hygiene Education and Administration from Columbia University School of Dental and Oral Surgery. Joan earned a Doctor of Philosophy from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Education, with a concentration in Adult Learning.

As a fulltime member of the School of Dentistry faculty, Dr. Pellegrini directs dental hygiene theory and clinical courses, and directs dental literature review courses for dental students. She lectures in dental and dental hygiene courses as well as provides supervision in dental hygiene clinics. She chairs the Affirmative Action Committee in University Faculty Senate, sits on the University Steering Committee for The Great Place Initiative, and co-chairs its Recognition subcommittee.  In the School of Dentistry, she is chair of the School of Dentistry Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a member of Curriculum Committee, and the Research Committee.  Recently, she has been involved in several university-level vice provost search committees.

Joan 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 Organization of Safety and Asepsis Procedures. She is a published author, editorial reviewer and has presented continuing professional education in local, national and international settings. Dr. Pellegrini is also a clinical researcher, being involved in multidisciplinary healthcare and educational research projects at the university.

Research interests

  • Clinical dental hygiene
  • Adult learning
  • Instructional technologies
  • Educational strategies
  • Interdisciplinary clinical studies with medically compromised patients
  • Domestic violence prevention
  • Diversity and inclusiveness
  • Social media and education