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Cornerstone Dental Creates Scholarship Fund with MCC Foundation in Memory of Longtime Dental Hygienist Killed in Car Crash

May 28, 2021

Aspiring dental hygienist, who graduated with an associate degree from MCC on May 20, is selected as inaugural recipient

BRIGHTON, N.Y. – 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.

In honor of Ogut, the partners at Cornerstone Dental have established a scholarship fund, in collaboration with the MCC Foundation, to support Monroe County residents enrolled in MCC’s dental hygiene program. Recipient of the inaugural Dilek Ogut Memorial Scholarship is KayLee Allen of Chili.

“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. Through this memorial scholarship, Dilek’s legacy will live on by helping aspiring dental hygienists fulfill their dream, as Dilek did,” said Dr. Daniel J. Palermo, a partner in the dental practice along with Dr. Marc Malatesta, Dr. Matthew Valerio and Dr. Anthony Colaruotolo (retired).

KayLee Allen

“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 from MCC on May 20. “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 Monroe County students who are enrolled in MCC’s dental hygiene program, have demonstrated leadership in the dental profession, and are actively involved in their community. Students must also maintain full-time status at MCC and a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

“Cornerstone Dental colleagues describe Dilek Ogut as caring, compassionate, beautiful, and dedicated. As the 2021 recipient of the Dilek Ogut Memorial Scholarship, KayLee Allen embraces those magnificent qualities,” said Barbara Ellis, Ed.D., chair of MCC’s Health Professions Department and associate professor of dental studies. “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 everyday presented a new hurdle, but KayLee worked her way through while rallying her classmates along with her.”

Individuals may contribute to the Dilek Ogut Memorial Scholarship via online or mail in care of the Monroe Community College Foundation, 1000 E. Henrietta Road, Rochester, NY 14623.

Media Contact
Hency Yuen-Eng