College of Arts and Sciences 2018 Distinguished Alumna: Dr. Rochelle Nolte

Dr. Rochelle Nolte is the 2018 NSU Distinguished Alumna for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Capt. Nolte has had a highly successful career with the U.S. Public Health Service, and she attributes that success to NSU and the top-notch professors who wouldn’t settle for anything less than her full potential.

“My experiences with the Public Health Service have been beyond anything I ever could have dreamed up for myself. I never could have imagined such a great career,” she said. “I have Northern to thank for that.”

Nolte said receiving the Distinguished Alumni award was very humbling.

“The foundation for all I've achieved was laid for me at Northern by the faculty there,” she said.

Capt. Nolte attended NSU from 1988 to 1992, graduating summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology and environmental science. At Northern, she was active in 4-H, Cadet Club and ROTC – she was even named the ROTC Cadet of the Year for two consecutive years and was awarded the Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal and National Defense Service Medal.

Nolte said she chose NSU because a good scholarship made it affordable, and the best part of attending was having “involved and energetic faculty who got to know us, encouraged us, and opened doors for us.”

Her advice to current students: “Make the most of your time at Northern and take advantage of all that it has to offer.”                                                                                           

After graduation, Nolte applied and was accepted to the esteemed military medical school Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Dr. Nolte graduated with her Medical Doctorate in 1996 and went on to do her internship and residency in Family Medicine at Fort Belvoir, Va. She also completed a fellowship in geriatric medicine at Johns Hopkins Bayview and a Sports Medicine Fellowship at Fort Belvoir.

While working to continue her education she also worked as a member of the disaster medical assistance team, a group of professional medical personnel that provide rapid-response medical care or casualty decontamination during a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other national or international emergencies. Her missions included serving as an emergency responder in two hurricanes, the World Trade Center attacks, the Brentwood Post Office attacks involving airborne anthrax, the Pentagon, the Salt Lake City Olympics, presidential inaugurations and events, and the Kosovar Refugee Crisis.

Capt. Nolte’s distinguished service has been recognized by several awards, including Commendation Medals, Special Assignment Awards, Presidential Unit Citations, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Crisis Response Service Awards.

Capt. Nolte’s experiences have included serving with the U.S. Coast Guard in various roles. While with the Coast Guard, she was named the PHS Clinical Physician of the Year. Now at the Bureau of Prisons in San Diego, Calif., she plays a critical role in caring for patients with complex medical and psychiatric problems, and improving care in the BOP by bringing bedside ultrasound to this setting in order to prevent unnecessary delays in treatment or trips out of the facility for imaging and by bringing acupuncture techniques for pain control to this population to decrease the use of narcotic medications. She continues to teach medical students and residents.

Dr. Nolte is married with two daughters, has authored publications, spoken at numerous conferences and workshops, and is a member of various medical associations.