Image of Troy LittleMohawk Valley Community College has named Troy Little ’96 the 2021 recipient of the MVCC Alumni of Merit Award, presented annually by the MVCC Alumni Association to a nominee who has contributed to the improvement of the community, helped the College, and otherwise demonstrated professional leadership that symbolizes MVCC’s mission of student success and community involvement.

Little was a member of the New York State Police for 22 years and retired at the rank of captain. He is now Director of Law Enforcement programs at MVCC, a position he has held since 2013. In that time, he has worked to improve the program to ensure that students are prepared for a career in law enforcement by enhancing the fitness program, adding increased assessment measures, increasing role-play scenarios, adding a dedicated tutor, including class visits to the library, and teaching students how to cite and list references, paraphrase, work as a team, study, and manage their time. Little also has adapted the program to meet the changing landscape of policing with a greater focus on the use of force and procedural and racial justice. He has been recognized for his achievements with several honors, including the MVCC Heart of the Hawk award and the College Educator Award from the Genesis Group of the Mohawk Valley.

Little holds an associate degree in accounting from MVCC, a bachelor’s degree in business from Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla., and a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University at Albany. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology Department at the University at Albany, and his research focuses on improving graduation rates for men of color at community colleges. Little has served as the Town Justice for the Town of Whitestown since January 2019.

Mohawk Valley Community College, established in 1946, is New York State’s first community college with a mission to provide accessible, high-quality educational opportunities for everyone. As the community’s college, MVCC is committed to student success through partnerships, transfer and career pathways, and personal enrichment. With campuses in Utica and Rome, MVCC is the region’s primary provider of college education, offering 90 degree and certificate options for its enrollment of 6,000 full- and part-time students. MVCC also serves an additional 6,000 people through its corporate and community education programs, and its campuses welcome more than 50,000 people annually for community events.