Cornerstone Dental creates MCC scholarship fund

COURTESY OF MONROE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

After Dilek Ogut graduated from Monroe Community College with an associate degree in dental hygiene in 2000, she spent most of her career at Cornerstone Dental, helping patients of all ages improve their oral health.  

The Greece resident and mother of three children was loved by her colleagues and patients alike. In 2019, Ogut was killed after a drunken driver crashed into her car in Parma. 

The partners at Cornerstone Dental established a scholarship fund in honor of Ogut with the MCC Foundation to support Monroe County residents enrolled in the dental hygiene program. The first recipient of the Dilek Ogut Memorial Scholarship is KayLee Allen, of Chili. 

KayLee Allen.

“The Cornerstone Dental family will always be saddened by the tragic loss of our friend and colleague Dilek, but we are happy to know that her name will live on through this scholarship,” said Dr. Daniel Palermo, a partner in the dental practice with Drs. Marc Malatesta, Matthew Valerio and Anthony Colaruotolo. “Through this memorial scholarship, Dilek’s legacy will live on by helping aspiring dental hygienists fulfill their dream, as Dilek did.” 

“This money will help immensely when paying for my upcoming board exam and licensure fees to become a registered dental hygienist,” said Allen, who earned her associate degree this past May. “I would like to thank MCC, the dental hygiene faculty and the donors of this scholarship for their generosity and dedication to this program’s success. I appreciate your donation and creation of this scholarship for those in this intense program who need assistance. Thank you for aiding in my success in this program, as well as with entering my career in the upcoming months.” 

The memorial scholarship will provide a minimum of $1,000 — $500 per semester — to students who are enrolled in MCC’s dental hygiene program, demonstrated leadership in the dental profession and are involved in their community. Students must maintain full-time status at MCC and a minimum 3.0 GPA.  

“Cornerstone Dental colleagues describe Dilek Ogut as caring, compassionate, beautiful and dedicated,” said Barbara Ellis, chair of the MCC Health Professions Department and associate professor of dental studies. “As the 2021 recipient of the Dilek Ogut Memorial Scholarship, KayLee Allen embraces those magnificent qualities. I am fortunate to know KayLee as a student. She has always been a kind, compassionate individual who takes pride in all she sets out to do. To no one’s surprise, KayLee excelled in the dental hygiene program, even during a pandemic that turned the world and our program upside down. It seemed every day presented a new hurdle, but KayLee worked her way through while rallying her classmates along with her.” 

Donations for the Dilek Ogut Memorial Scholarship can be made online at bit.ly/3ga5LIK or by mail to the Monroe Community College Foundation, 1000 E. Henrietta Road, Rochester, New York, 14623.