Alumni Spotlight - Stephon Dingle '08
Stephon Dingle ‘08 is an Evening News Anchor for WLKY-TV Louisville, Kentucky. He was recently nominated for an Emmy for his work highlighting community champions. After graduating from Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Stephon received a B.A. in History from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and then a Master of Science from the prestigious Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.
Why did you choose Mount Carmel?
I chose Mount Carmel because of the sense of community and safe space it provided me to try new things, make mistakes and more importantly be loved through mistakes to really build character, a grace anyone would hope to be afforded as they grow up figuring out life as a teenager.
Who influenced you the most at Mount Carmel?
Believe it or not my biggest influence was two people. It is first and foremost, the late Ralph Sears because he is the reason Mount Carmel and I even met. He was always giving and wanting to see others succeed. To him I owe a great deal for my eventual victories and successes in life. The other person who influenced me the most at Mount Carmel would have to be Kathy Sipes who was principal at Mount Carmel during my years there. She was the voice of reason I would always listen closely to during school mass or anytime she has something to say. She made me feel seen, which at the time was super important for this young black man from Baltimore City looking for ways to escape the environment I grew up in and be accepted in a community that wanted to see me succeed.
Share your best memory at Mount Carmel.
One of the many favorite memories from Mount Carmel would have to be my senior year leading our Men’s Volleyball team to a big victory in front of a packed gym brand new bleachers at that time. We went on to beat our rival Archbishop Spalding and we made men’s volleyball cool and even made the Catholic Review for a nice article on the team’s behalf. I loved my team and I loved seeing Mount Carmel do what it does in supporting their sports teams...lots of passion to say the least.
What is the most important thing you learned at Mount Carmel?
The most important thing I learned at Mount Carmel is that as you ascend in life, take others with you on the ride by giving back and always remaining touchable and grounded. I also learned the importance of community which is now the foundation of my work at storyteller and journalist. Relatability to those that are different from you has become one of the joys of my life and for that I can thank Mount Carmel for.
What advice do you have for current students to make the most of their experience at Mount Carmel?
The best advice I have for current students is to cherish your MC family just like they are your own, because once you graduate, they will oftentimes be the shoulder you cry on or the familiar face you can't wait to see at the festival, homecoming, or alumni reunion. You only get to do this life thing once and I couldn’t imagine MC not being a part of that.
Describe Mount Carmel in 3 words.
WORTH. THE. MONEY.
How did Mount Carmel prepare you for your career and/or life?
Mount Carmel helped prepare me for my career because it truly allowed me to be as interesting as I wanted to be. I always tell people that in high school I was the jock, the nerd, the geek and was friends with all of those in the different genre of students that exists. Mount Carmel also prepared me to be more empathetic and realize the importance of second chances and resilience.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
My greatest professional accomplishment is literally the opportunity I have had to do what I do for a living everyday, which is to inform people and tell their stories. With that has come two-EMMY nominations among other awards and accolades, it has allowed me to be promoted to be an evening news anchor which is what I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid watching Don Scott and Marty Bass on WJZ Eyewitness News. More importantly, my greatest professional accomplishments have been meeting strangers for a living and applying the same principles that were instilled in me during my matriculation at Mount Carmel.
Describe your career path.
My career path started after I graduated Columbia Journalism School as I took on an opportunity at News12 the Bronx and Inside Edition behind the scenes before moving back home to Baltimore briefly to commute to Washington D.C. where I was a news association for CBS News. After that I got my first on-air job at WCAV-TV in Charlottesville, Virginia before spending nearly three years in Birmingham, Alabama. From there I arrived in Louisville, Kentucky as the morning co-anchor before being recently promoted to evening co-anchor of the 5pm newscast.
What advice do you have for those pursuing your career path?
The best advice I have for those pursuing a career in journalism is to always remain curious and eager to tell the truth and seek it for those who aren’t able: be a storyteller and hold the powerful accountable.
What is something people do not know about you?
Being a public figure it’s kind of hard to answer this but I’ll go lighthearted for this question. Something people don’t know about me is that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Funyuns and Reese Puffs cereal and have no problem eating those items together or separate while navigating YouTube on my TV for fun. Don’t knock it until to try it lol.