Student Spotlight: Alexa Alianello

Alexa Alianello

Alexa Alianello
Major: Dental Hygiene
Hometown: Darian

Since she was a girl, Alexa Alianello wanted to be a dental hygienist. It was a conversation with her uncle, a dentist, that led her to College of DuPage.

"When I was 16, he brought up the subject of college at a family event, so I asked him where I should go," she explained. "At first he said Southern Illinois University. But then he told me about COD's program, and I decided to check it out."

After graduating from Montini Catholic High School, Alianello began taking her prerequisites at COD and applied to the Dental Hygiene program. Because of her fierce determination to succeed, Alianello earned straight "A's."

"I'm so impressed with the Dental Hygiene faculty, especially professors (Patricia) Belmonte and (Barb) Czahor, who always pushed me to the limit while providing words of encouragement along the way," she said. "Getting experience in COD's Dental Hygiene Clinic and working with actual patients helped me become a better hygienist and a better person."

Alianello graduated with her Associate in Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene in 2012. She also was named one of the two Outstanding Graduates for that year.

After taking her national exams and obtaining her license, Alianello plans to begin working this summer. She would like to pursue a bachelor's degree and eventually work in restorative dentistry. She also would like to teach in a dental hygiene program.

"People are not always aware of what's in their own backyard," she said. "College of DuPage opened doors by helping me become an independent person and start a successful career. Along the way, I've forged many lifelong friendships."

More about Dental Hygiene program

Outstanding Graduates for 2012


Alexa Alianello and Chandrika Gopal

Each year College of DuPage recognizes graduates whose achievements truly demonstrate determination and success. The Outstanding Graduates of 2012 are both Health Sciences students, but their backgrounds and ambitions tell two different and inspirational stories.