Meet the Instructors: Michelle Pilaroscia and Melissa Sheldon

Instructors Melissa Sheldon and Michelle Pilaroscia
Dental Assisting Instructors Melissa Sheldon (left) and Michelle Pilaroscia keep the demanding program fun by incorporating little extras like Ugly Sweater Day in December.

Michelle Pilaroscia and Melissa Sheldon have known each other for years. Before coming to CWD, the two had worked together in an orthodontic office. At the time, they didn’t know their paths would be intertwined for so long.

Dental Assisting Instructor Michelle Pilaroscia found her love of the dental field early on, as a student in the Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES Career and Technical Education dental assisting program while a junior in high school. She then earned her degree in Dental Hygiene from Monroe Community College and worked in an orthodontic office for several years before returning to MCC as an instructor. She eventually found her way to the Dental Assisting program at CWD. She has worked in the field for 23 years.

Melissa Sheldon earned her associate degree in Business Administration from Genesee Community College and then went to work in an orthodontic office as a dental assistant. Her duties included a lot of training and mentoring of newer employees and she found that she enjoyed that role. She began volunteering as a guest speaker in Pilaroscia’s class at CWD, and was later hired as an instructor in the program. She is certified as a Dental Assistant by the Dental Assisting National Board and licensed by NYS as a Registered Dental Assistant. She has been in the dental field for 19 years, including 15 years in private practice.

Both Pilaroscia and Sheldon work hard to make sure the program reflects the wants and needs of the dental community. They seek input from providers on what skills and qualities they need in their employees, and are sure to include those as part of their teaching.

“We are part of the dental community and hold our students to the highest standards. We are proud of the professionals we have graduating from our program,” said Pilaroscia.

The program has grown considerably and now includes a network of over 40 dentistry sites the students work with during their internships. “We have a good reputation and our students are in demand in the community,” said Sheldon. “Our students are prepared.”