January 2013
Howard University Capstone October 2012  
Longtime Director Recognized for Helping to Shape Careers
By Marquis Gibson, senior English major and former intern in the Office of University Communications
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Dudley has had such a profound influence on communications majors through the years that her office is filled with cards and letters of appreciation. - Photos by Ceasar

Carol Y. Dudley, director of the Office of Career Development in the School of Communications, has been helping Howard students navigate and secure internships and sustainable careers for more than three decades. And, for so many of the students who pass through her office door who are still trying to find their professional niche, she is also a mentor and surrogate mother. Last summer, Dudley received the Distinguished Service in Local Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for her tireless efforts.

“This recognition was for every graduate and exemplary student in journalism.  It represents our meeting the highest standards in news gathering, writing, broadcasting and reporting,” Dudley says.  

In addition to her guidance on career assessment, résumé writing, portfolio creation and interviewing techniques, she also coordinates two major career and internship fairs on campus every year. A major reason why Howard students have been awarded several distinguished scholarships over the years, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, is because of her relentless drive to ensure talented students are identified and recognized by industry partners as contributors to the future of the news agenda.

Dudley often tells her students to “Become the media professional—immerse yourself in the discipline” and “Begin to operate as if you are already working in the discipline”—advice that exemplifies her passion for the welfare and success for her students, many of whom keep in touch with Dudley long after they have graduated. Her office is filled with notes and cards from those she has mentored over the years, like alumna Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i (B.A. ’93).
Dudley helped Smith-Anoa’i secure her first internship with a local CBS station while she was a student at Howard, and today Smith-Anoa’i is the vice president of diversity and communications for CBS Television, and based in Los Angeles. Smith-Anoa’i says that one of the strongest impressions Dudley made on her is the ability to make every student feel as though they were the only one Dudley is working with.
"This recognition was for every graduate and exemplary student in journalism."
“She is a shining example of someone who has your best interest at heart,” Smith-Anoa’i says. “She is part of the reason I am the woman that I am today.”

Dudley earned her speech language pathology from Howard in 1976. After graduating, she worked with Orlando Taylor, Ph.D., former dean of the Graduate School, to help students garner externships. Following that, she assumed her current position to manage the increasing popularity of the School of Communications. She stresses to her students the need for immersion in their respective fields, because finding out early where their skill sets lie within a specific major or discipline is crucial to finding out what they want to do in their professional lives.

Dudley, who has been at Howard for 36 years, finds a renewed energy whenever she meets a new class of students. Her work continues to pay off with the next generation of communications majors who are hungry for success.

“Every year, I meet a group of wide-eyed, curious young people who have an idea of where they fit in a career mold. It motivates me to go out and seek additional opportunities for them,” she says. “My highest point is any time a student is placed in his or her desired position. Or when I get a notice, or a letter, indicating that someone has been promoted in his or her field.”
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