Kate Dudley-Perry, an academic advisor in Skidmore’s Opportunity Program, died October 26, 2013, surrounded by family and friends. She was 37 and had been on the Skidmore staff for eight years.
The daughter of Robert N. and Mary K. (Carney) Dudley, Kate was a graduate of Saratoga Springs High School, St. Bonaventure University, Penn State University, and Sheffield University in England. She majored in English literature with a minor in Spanish. She also completed summer study at Oxford University.
She was the recipient of a number of honors, including a Rotary International Scholarship and designation as an International Scholar of Goodwill, as well as an award from the Modern Language Association for outstanding achievement in Spanish. She was also published four times in The Laurel, the nation’s oldest collegiate literary magazine.
A lifelong learner, she loved her job at Skidmore, where she worked first as a summer tutor in the Opportunity Program and, since 2005, as an academic counselor and English instructor for OP.
Helping students to learn was the essence of Kate’s career, which included positions as a staffer in the Penn State University Learning Center, a teacher and tutor at both Penn State and Butler County Community College, an English teacher at State College High School in Pennsylvania, and an English lecturer and tutor at SUNY Adirondack, before she joined the Skidmore community.
Kate once said, “I delight in working with learners of all abilities and am committed to serving others by helping students master the skills necessary to reach their full academic potential.”
Jamin Totino, director of Student Academic Services who worked with Kate in OP, noted, “Her commitment to students was unwavering and her impact was meaningful. Always upbeat and smiling, she approached her work with deep sincerity and honesty. She was as smart and genuine as they come.”
Meg Hegener, coordinator for Student Access Services, recalled Kate’s ability to focus on her students. “Her approach to everything was positive and contagious. Students felt empowered by her attitude and were able to go out and do their best work.” In the classroom or working one on one, “students gravitated to her.” As evidence of Kate’s positive approach, Meg added, “She signed all her memos ‘Blue Skies.’”
Meg and Jamin said that Kate’s love for her husband, Dominic, and their son Quinn was a central force in her life. Said Jamin, “Kate recently told me that Quinn’s laughter ‘was just the best sound I ever heard.’”
In addition to her husband, son, and parents, Kate is survived by her brother Robert (Meg) Dudley and nephew Liam Dudley, uncles and cousins, and her dog, Typo Tuesday.
Memorial donations may be made to Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar, Pine West Plaza, Building 3, Washington Avenue Ext., Albany, NY 12205. Kate was a member of the group’s board of directors.
Kate found meaning in service to others, a principle that she and her husband modeled for their son. Her positive approach enriched her work with students, enabling them to do their best.