Headshot of Denise  Dwight Smith

Denise Dwight Smith

Assistant Vice President

  • Profile

    Denise joined the University of Richmond as Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Career Services in 2016, recently coming from Old Dominion University as the Director of Career Development Services for Decisions, Internships, and Work Readiness. In the Spider “state of the art” operation, she oversees Career Services/Employer Relations and Alumni Relations, and serves on the Advancement Leadership team. Prior to ODU, she was Director of the University Career Center for Work, Service, and Internships at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, partnering with academic affairs and employers in the second largest financial center in the country. Denise also represented UNC Charlotte as the NC Campus Compact liaison and co-coordinator for UNC in Washington Internship/Study Program. Denise has over 30 years of experience in public centralized and decentralized centers, small private selective colleges, and a large international corporation as: Associate to the Dean and Director, Career Services, The Ohio State University College of Business; Manager, College Relations for ICI Americas, Inc.; Director, Career Development Center at Bucknell University and Wilson College and Assistant Director, Gettysburg College.

    She has lead over 100 professional presentations (e.g., NACE, AACU, CASE, NCDA, NSEE, SACE, Global Summit) on topics such as experiential learning and career models, strategic recruiting and college relations, dual career couples, service-learning and career development, career development for liberal arts/ sciences/ business/engineering students; creating mobility for women; and integrated career centers. Denise consulted and published widely (US, Japan, Germany, and England), and received a Milestone Award for Strategic Planning. Citations included in Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, NACE Journal, the Boston Globe, USA Today, Charlotte Observer. She appeared on numerous television casts, co-authored Comprehensive Career Services for Seniors in The Senior Year Experience and authored an ACT Monograph chapter on Experiential Learning, Service Learning, and Career Development. She earned her BA (SCL), in Psychology, Millersville University and MS, College Counseling, from Shippensburg University. Additional professional experiences include the NACE Advocacy Committee, CAS Director, and Past President; the NC State Internship Council, Charlotte Chamber economic development consultant, the NSEE Academy, NCDA Global CDI, the Experience Advisory Board and the Fulbright IEA 2006 program. She has served in many civic capacities including with CW, UCUMC council president, counseling commission chair, choir/ensemble, and as a foster parent.

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    • Awards

      • NACE Outstanding Service, Executive Committee, July 2000
      • NACE Outstanding Leadership for President-Elect, 1997-98
      • MAACE Milestone Award for Strategic Planning, 1997
      • Outstanding Professional Service Award, MAPA, 1991 & 1992
      • Fulbright IEA 2006

    • Presentations

      Over 100 presentations at national and regional conferences on topics of: sense of purpose, career decidedness, and academic performance; career counseling methods; strategic planning; career center management; corporate politics; effective college recruiting; the chemical industry; career development for liberal arts/ sciences/business/engineering students; creating mobility for women; marketing career planning concepts; choosing a college; behavioral interviewing; the dual career couple; international recruiting; service learning and career development; and jobs for the new millennium.

      • Career Services support for University Wide QEP and Retention, NACE National Conference, Las Vegas, June 2012, with Rebecca Cody
      • "Going all in and hold nothing back: Creative methods to maximize your employer relations initiatives,” selected for North Carolina showcase,  SoACE,  Dallas, Texas , Dec 2010 with Ben Cudia
      • “The Relationship of Experiential Learning to Sense of Purpose, Career Decidedness, and Academic Performance  and career service interventions, NSEE, Oct 2010, Charlotte, NC and NOSC poster session with Galina Fedun, NOSC Raleigh, NC.
      • “Recruiting Emerging and Experienced College Talent: Prepare Now as Competition Increases”, NACE National Meeting, Orlando, May, 2004"Merging Career and Experiential Education Centers: A Perspective: Journal of Career Planning &  Employment, accepted for Winter 1995.
      • "The Job Market", Broadcasted Interview, Channel 9 TV, Charlotte, Fall 1994.
      • "Better Workplace Skills for New Hires: A Key to Training America's Workforce", ASTD-Ohio Newsletter, June 1991, and MAPA Monitor, 1992.
      • Journal Pro-Con Forum: "Is On Campus Recruiting Really Working?” Journal of Career Planning and Employment, May1990, p.40-42.
      • “Recruiting Emerging and Experienced College Talent: Prepare Now as Competition Increases, EMA, Charlotte, Fall 2004. 
      • “Reclaiming Your Passions and Your Career through Volunteering”, National Businesswomen’s Week, October 2002, Charlotte, NC
      • Consultant to ILCC, presentation to colleagues on Internships in the USA- Kyoto, Japan November 2000.

       Presentations as President of NACE with the Executive Director for SACE and WACE:

      • Trends in the field and Effective College Recruiting, Dec. 1998, Jan. 1999.
      • “Brain Trust Live” panel at NACE, SACE conferences 1999, 2000, 2001 on key issues in the field.
      • “Services for the Community”, UNC Charlotte panel, United Way conference, Charlotte, Spring 2000
      • “Effective College Relations and Recruiting”, with Marilyn Mackes, Exec Director, NACE, WACE, 1999
      • “The Future of Our Profession and Start Planning Goals for NACE, with M.Mackes, SACE, 1998.

    • Memberships

      National Association of Colleges and Employers

      Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers

      Southeastern/Southern Association of Colleges and Employers

      Society of Human Resource Managers

      Charlotte Employment/Staffing Managers Association

      Cooperative Education Internship Association

      National Society for Experiential Education

      NSEE Academy Member

      Phi Beta Kappa

      Golden Key

    • Professional Experience

      Director, Career Development Services at Old Dominion University (2014-2016)

      Director, University Career Center for Work, Service, and Internships at UNC Charlotte (1993-2014)

      Director, College of Business Career Services at The Ohio State University (1991-1993)

      Manager, College Relations at ICI Americas, Inc. (1988-1991)

      Director, University Career Development Center at Bucknell University (1983-1988)

      Assistant Director, Career Services at Gettysburg College (1981-1983)

    • Institutional Service

      University of Richmond: 

      • Strategic Planning Thriving and Inclusive Workteam
      • Advancement Leadership Team
      • COVID-19 Contingency Planning: Remote Richmond Working Group

    • Community Service

      • Goodwin Society Member- Colonial Williamsburg, Civic Engagement supporter
      • Stop Hunger Now- Williamsburg Presbyterian
      • Financial Services Project Management Career Module Instructor- Continuing Ed
      • Lead Job-search transition groups-three in the area
      • UC United Methodist Church Advisory Board- Job Search Ministry for the Unemployed
      • Lay Speaker certified training and volunteer
      • Celebration Choir and Ensemble group, UCUMC
      • UCUMC Joel Planning Committee, UCUMC
      • Thompson Children’s Home foster parent training, NC licensed
      • Hospice volunteer, NC Flood Relief team
      • Cabarrus Regional Leadership Development Program
      • Charlotte Chamber Workforce Preparedness Steering Committee
      • Charlotte Workshop Development Training provider’s group
      • Cabarrus Chamber Workforce Development Board
      • Chair, Executive Committee and Council, UCUMC
      • Lay Leader Development team, UCUMC
      • EMA Charlotte Advisory Board
      • Charlotte Repertory Orchestra Board Member
      • Marketing and Outreach Committee
      • Wellington Nursing and Rehab Center Family Council
      • Carolinas Leadership Program
      • Workforce Summit/Chamber of Commerce
      • Consultant to economic development group, Chamber of Commerce
      • United Way Leadership Program
      • Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program
      • Counseling Commission, UCUMC, Charlotte, NC
      • Stephen Ministry Group Leader, Worthington, Ohio
      • Community Tennis Team
      • RVA NOW Chamber Higher Education Committee for University of Richmond

  • Publications
    Additional Publications

    Interviewed for radio and television shows including PBS and channel 6 in Philadelphia on the dual career couple, and Channel 9, 6, 36 in Charlotte for career development job market, financial services economic effects and recruiting issues. Published in Success Magazine, Journal of Career Planning and Employment, Philadelphia Inquirer, Charlotte Observer, Wall Street Journal, and other publications across the country.

    Grant: Harden, S.B., Sorensen, J., Buch, K., Taylor, B., Calhoun, M.L., Dwight Smith, D., Stroble, C., Clark, A., (2013). Civic minor in urban education. American Association of State Colleges and Universities: $4,000.

    Smith, Denise Dwight, “Experiential learning, Service learning, and Career Development”, Chapter 14. Facilitating the Career Development of Students in Transition, ACT Monograph, Dr. Paul Gore, ed., Fall 2004.

    Smith, D.D., with Gast, L.K., “The Role of the Career Services Office in Promoting Senior Success”, chapter in The Senior Year Experience, editors Gardner, J. and Van der Veer, G., Jossey-Bass, Fall, 1997

    “Profile of A President,” Interview Journal of Career Planning & Employment, Fall 1998, p.6