Southside Virginia Community College is proud to announce that the guest speaker for the 2015 Commencement is Dr. Dietra Trent who currently serves as Deputy Secretary of Education. The ceremony will be held Saturday, May 16, 2015 at the John H. Daniel Campus in Keysville, Virginia.
Dr. Trent previously held this position during Governor Tim Kaine’s administration. She joined the Administration of Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2014. In this position she works collaboratively with Virginia’s colleges and universities, libraries, museums, and the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV). Her primary responsibility is to promote the Governor’s agenda for higher education. Prior to joining the McAuliffe Administration, Dr. Trent served as Deputy State Director for Senator Mark Warner. Having served in former Governor’s Tim Kaine and Mark Warner’s offices, as well as the Office of Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, she has a wealth of federal, state and higher education experience.
During her time in Governor Warner’s office, Dr. Trent’s proudest moment was establishing and obtaining state funding for the Minority Political Leadership Institute (MPLI), housed at Virginia Commonwealth University. MPLI is a six-week intensive program designed to promote leadership for aspiring individuals interested in running for elected office or assuming leadership roles in minority communities. She currently serves on the MPLI advisory board.
A native of Halifax County, Virginia, Dr. Trent earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice from Hampton University, and completed her master’s and doctoral degrees in Public Administration and Policy from Virginia Commonwealth University.