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Honoring Dr. DeRionne Pollard, first permanent Black woman president of Nevada State College

Dr. DeRionne Pollard
Posted at 9:22 AM, Feb 04, 2022

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Dr. DeRionne Pollard is the first permanent Black woman president of Nevada State College, and any institution within the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Pollard is from the south side of Chicago, and credits her strong foundation of community, family and education to her success.

"Education was going to be my pathway out," Pollard said.

In her new role, Pollard is taking a pledge for change, building a university of equity and inclusion.

As she takes her seat, she's reminded of those before her who made this moment possible.

"I know that I represent both the present of what Nevada is and also the future, and I want little girls and boys across this country and across this state to be able to say, 'I can do this,'" Pollard said.

Nevada State College shared this biography about Dr. Pollard:

"Dr. DeRionne Pollard is the current president of Nevada State College (NSC). She was appointed by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents in April to lead NSC, a four-year public comprehensive institution. NSC is one of the fastest-growing colleges in the country and is designated as a Minority Serving Institute (MSI), Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Institution (AANAPI). NSC also advances phenomenal teaching and superb student support to expand and diversify an educated workforce, thereby protecting social justice and economic mobility. Dr. Pollard began her tenure at NSC on Aug. 16, 2021.

Dr. Pollard is the first Black female president of any NSHE institution. She has held previous roles at the College of Lake County and served as president of both Montgomery College and Las Positas College.

Dr. Pollard is deeply connected to her community, having served on the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, the Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development, and the Board of Directors. Dr. Pollard is a member of the Ascend Postsecondary Leadership Circle for Parents and the Center for First-generation Student Success Advisory Board for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She also served on the boards of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Universities at Shady Grove, and the Capital Area Food Bank.

Dr. Pollard was named one of Washington’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian Magazine, won a 2017 Academic Leadership Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and a Visionary Award from the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. She holds a bachelor’s and a master’s of arts in English from Iowa State University and a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago."