Mike Dudjak: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... it is a great, affordable way to continue your education

Stasia Lopez's picture

Mike Dudjak was a CCAC student from 1997-1999 (attended CCAC-Allegheny & CCAC-South) then transferred to West Liberty University and graduated with a Bachelor's of Science Degree. Currently he’s a Paraprofessional at Springdale Jr/Sr High School and Head Women's Basketball Coach at CCAC.

Mike Dudjak: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... it is a great, affordable way to continue your education

How did you choose your major? What motivated you to choose that field/profession? 
I graduated West Liberty University with a Criminal Justice degree. I realized I liked working with youth & young people with special needs. So I went into the educational and coaching field.

What did you enjoy about attending CCAC? Any memorable moment to share? 
The people were very nice & helpful. Looking back, CCAC I believe, helped transition me into adulthood.

How involved were you at CCAC? Did you study abroad? Did you have internships or Co-Ops? Clinicals and/or practicums? Were you a part of any clubs, sports, or extracurriculars? 
Intramural Basketball

Did any of these experiences lead you into realizing your passions for work and career? 
I knew all along I wanted to get into coaching at some point, but was unsure about career paths in it. It wasn't until after I graduated I knew what I wanted to do & that was working with special education students.

What (transferable) skills did you gain that you could take into a workplace? 
How to deal with different personalities and different people. Not one person is the same. Also, treat people the same way you would like to be treated.

What are you hoping to do next? What would you like to do professionally? 
To continue to work with young people, make a difference and impact in their lives and continue to coach which I am beyond grateful to be doing at CCAC.

How do you manage stress (most especially during these uncertain times)? 
Spend time with my family and friends, exercise (not as much as I should), and try to laugh.

What do you want prospective college students to know—what advice do you have for them? 
I want them to know that time management is very important and if you are unsure of anything, do not be afraid to ask. Also, Community College is a real college with real professors. Anyone that tells you otherwise is sadly mistaken. You get a top notch education from top notch professors.

Who inspires you and why? Do you have any mentors or people of influence in your life? 
Many people do. Obviously, my wife and my parents first; teachers I have had, coaches I played for, and some coaches I coached under.

Anything else you’d like for us to know? 
I love my two Cats, Louie and Oliver.

Mike Dudjak: #CommunityCollegeBecause ... it is a great, affordable way to continue your education


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Stasia Lopez is the Global Education Editor for Wandering Educators and is also a Director of Career Services at the Community College of Allegheny County. She graduated with her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Western Michigan University in 2013 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Robert Morris University. Stasia is passionate about international education, travel, college to career topics and loves working on a college campus. She’s lived in four different U.S. states (Florida, Michigan, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania) and also studied and lived abroad in Rome, Italy. Stasia lives in the Pittsburgh area with her husband, Fernando, precious daughter, Maya, and playful kitty-cat Zorro.