This post was written by Carson Dudick (Class of 2020). She graduated with majors in History and Human Rights on the Public Policy Track and with minors in Law and Legal Reasoning and Women’s and Gender Studies. Ms. Dudick will continue her graduate education at the University of San Diego.
Since I graduated last month, I have been reflecting back on my time at Southern Methodist University. One of the largest impacts on my undergraduate career has been the Voices of SMU Oral History Project. I started on the project in the spring of my Freshman year in 2018 through a course called “Doing Oral History.” My first interview with the project, with Germaine White, I was incredibly nervous. At the time, I had no idea what I wanted to major in or do in my future. But after Dr. Kelly provided me the opportunity to stay on campus for a summer research assistantship, my future became clear. I grew in my interview skills and research abilities, resulting in the job becoming less work and more enjoyable. I decided to major in history due to this project, and it influenced my second major within human rights. The advice from the alumni on future goals, undergraduate grades, and university involvement altered my experience as a student. I focused more heavily on my grades and became involved in numerous student organizations. Furthermore, I pursued my passion for the legal sector due to their advice on postgraduate objectives. Now, I will start at University of San Diego Law School in Fall 2020. Not only did the interviews alter my experience, the team of individuals working on the oral history project were influential in my life. Although everyone improved my time as an undergrad, Dr. Jill Kelly and SMU Archivist Joan Gosnell became mentors to me. Both women encouraged me in my future, provided necessary advice, and became role models for myself. After graduation, I know that this project will stay with me due to the valuable lessons learned and the important people it has placed into my life.
Carson completed over thirty interviews for the Voices of SMU Oral History Project. Here we share several:
Gene Pouncy (Class of 1974 & 1976) received a B.F.A and M.L.A. from Southern Methodist University. In the interview, he discusses growing up in South Dallas, attending SMU with his brother, and being in the university’s football, track, and field teams. He taught English Composition at El Centro College in Dallas for 34 years.
Delia Jasso (Class of 1976 and 1993) discusses growing up in Oak Cliff during the 1960s and 1970s. At SMU, she was involved with Los Chicanos (an organization advocating for more educational investments for Hispanic students). After graduating, Ms. Jasso became a Dallas City Council Member, helped found the DART/UTA Transportation Leadership Academy, and started the Hispanic Alumni Homecoming Reception.