Piedmont Virginia Community College alumnus Dominick D. Rolle, of Winston-Salem, N.C., has been named PVCC’s 2018 Distinguished Alumnus. Rolle was recognized at PVCC’s 45th Commencement Ceremony on May 11.
Rolle, a Bahamian-American immigrant, joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17. He served for six years before he was honorably discharged in 2003. He began attending PVCC shortly after, graduating with honors in 2006 with an associate degree in liberal arts. He went on to earn several academic degrees in English language and literature including a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and both a master’s and doctoral degree from Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. He currently serves as an assistant professor of English and MBA candidate at Winston-Salem State University in North Carolina.
“While pursuing my degree in liberal arts, I was impressed by PVCC’s support for veterans,” said Rolle of his time at PVCC. “I was equally impressed by the institution’s commitment to serving a diverse body of non-traditional students and the school’s dedication to providing a first-class education to a community of learners at an affordable price. Attending classes in the day and night, I found PVCC to be an incubator of dreams as each lesson, gleaned, became more priceless than the next.”
Rolle says that his time at PVCC inspired him to give back to his community and, after earning his degree from UVA, he spent two years working as a full-time social worker and youth counselor supervisor for the City of Charlottesville’s Community Attention Home. There, he led over 200 inner-city and at-risk youth by providing informal counseling, professional advising, recreational activities and educational support. During that time, he also began working as a regional veteran peer support specialist for the Virginia Veteran and Family Support Program through the Region Ten Community Services Board. In this role, he represented more than 100 displaced veterans through advocacy efforts for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. While in graduate school at Emory University in Atlanta, Rolle co-founded the Emory-Men Stopping Violence Initiative, an award-winning social enterprise project that focused on reducing intimate partner violence against women at Emory and globally.
As a faculty member at Winston-Salem State University, Rolle collaborates with this institution’s Small Business and Technical Development Center to help teach students important leadership lessons through literature. More broadly, he remains committed to celebrating diversity and says that he encourages his students to “embrace the study of literature as a vehicle through which they can dream, shadow and act to create a better world as thought-leaders and visionaries.”
PVCC’s Distinguished Alumni Award was created to recognize former students that have distinguished themselves through personal and professional accomplishment and have achieved distinction through philanthropy and other forms of civic leadership. Recipients are selected by a committee comprised of alumni and members of the college community. To learn more, visit www.pvcc.edu/outstandingalumni.