NVCC alumni Dorian Lockett beams from ear-to-ear when he thinks about the NVCC Professor who served as a mentor and, “took an extra step to truly engage with the student.” It’s thanks to Psychology Professor Lawrence Venuk that Lockett got his introduction and interest in politics. He recalls that Venuk put his name in for the Connecticut’s Legislative Internship program and nominated him for the Christopher Love Award, a scholarship that commemorates a fallen Waterbury-area social activist. Lockett says that because of his internship, he was introduced to J. Brendan Sharkey, former Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, and Majority Leader.
The summer after his internship was a pivotal moment where his interest in politics gained momentum. Lockett went on from NVCC to attend UCONN where he was originally a double major in Psychology and Philosophy. Because of his internship experience, he switched his major to Political Science. Lockett went on to work for Joe Aresimowicz, a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives and now current Speaker of the House, for the Mayor of East Harford as her Chief of Staff, and on the 2016 Clinton Campaign. Today, Lockett lives in Washington, D.C. He works for a firm that specializes in crisis communication and land-use development consulting for Fortune 100 companies. One of the projects on which Lockett has worked included the largest solar panel facility east of the Rockies in Spotsylvania, VA. Lockett is grateful for the education he received at NVCC and for the support he received from professors like Venuk. “My path was highlighted by the fact that a professor like Larry Venuk saw something in me and helped cultivate who I became,” said Lockett.
His advice to non-traditional students who are considering going back to school? “It’s the hardest thing, but if you overcome that hurdle, you are on a path to truly actualizing your potential and beginning transformational change in your life.” About community college, Lockett adds, “I believe people have negative connotations about community college. It is about the quality and not the name of the institution you’re going to. If all colleges had professors like Professor Venuk, we wouldn’t have failing students. At NVCC you are surrounded by teachers that care and have a lot to offer. Take the time to ask questions, the time to have a 30-second conversation, get to know your professors. Life is about networking because you don’t ever know who you’ll meet.”
NVCC Professor of Psychology, Larry Venuk commented, “What an incredible privilege my colleagues and I share helping students like Dorian who are on the threshold of their dreams realize their unlimited potential and help them open doors. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Dorian took the time to make connections beyond the classroom, and he worked hard to achieve his success. All of our students can do the same.”