On May 6, the University of the Incarnate Word recognized the 2012 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission at the Fall 2012 undergraduate commencement ceremony. The recipient, Sgt. Maj. Kent C. Dolasky, has been a pioneer on many fronts.
In 2001, Dolasky enrolled in UIW through the Army's new eArmy U program. The program featured 29 schools known for their quality online programs to build a consortium to serve the needs of soldiers like Dolasky who found it hard to continue their studies with extensive military duties and relocation. He became UIW's first eArmyU graduate in 2002.
He continued his education, by pursuing his graduate degree through UIW's online program and accomplished the bulk of his courses in the desert when on active duty in the Middle East. In 2006, while deployed, he was recognized with a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. He and his team repelled enemy combatants in Al Kut, Iraq and were involved in nearly 10 hours of continuous enemy contact. He proudly walked the stage in San Antonio later that year to receive a master's degree to complement his Bronze Star.
Dolasky is currently an Army Special Forces Sergeant Major and the Commandant of the Joint Special Operations Forces Senior Enlisted Academy (JSOFSEA) in Tampa, Fla. As a special operations educator, Dolasky successfully launched his first distance learning program at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C. in 2007. In an effort to model the program's success, the U.S. Special Operations Command selected Dolasky to begin work on a joint senior enlisted professional military education program for special operators across the four services. The end product of this endeavor is the JSOFSEA.
Dolasky serves has served his country in many ways and today focuses much of his efforts on the volunteer organization he founded aptly named "Buckets of Hope." His inspiration came from an experience he had observing a homeless man with little protection from the harsh winter elements. On Thanksgiving 2010, he delivered his first bucket of hope filled with winter survival items to the needy in the Tampa area. Since then with the help of his family and volunteers, Dolasky has provided hundreds of blankets, packed dozens of five gallon "Buckets of Hope" and served gallons of coffee to the homeless. He currently provides breakfast to approximately a dozen homeless individuals once a week. For the past two years, Dolasky and his family, along with friends and volunteers, have also cooked and served dinner to approximately 50 homeless people on Christmas day. Although the meals he provides are not frequent enough to sustain the homeless nutritionally, the interaction between these individuals and his "Buckets of Hope" volunteers work to sustain their sense of self. The success of his efforts has not gone unnoticed, The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce recognized Dolasky as the 2012 Army Military Citizen of the Year for his charitable efforts.
Dolasky is a member of the UIW's extended academics program curriculum committee where he has been an instructor since 2007. He successfully designed and launched the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) capstone course called Business Policy and Strategy in 2010 and has taught 44 online courses for the university.