Meet Carolyn Kay
Carolyn Kay has worked at Trent University since 1990 as a history professor teaching several courses on the Holocaust and German history. From 2010-2012, Carolyn was the Principal of Lady Eaton College and the Chair of the History Department from 2014-2015. During her time here, she has invited Holocaust survivors such as Max Eisen from Auschwitz, and child survivor Jack Kuper from Poland. Jack had such a positive experience at Trent that he has donated several of his artworks that can be found along the hallway leading into the Lady Eaton College cafeteria.
Carolyn loves the college's spirit and architecture. She has found Lady Eaton students to be exceptionally engaged in their programs of study and in their community of friends and co-students. She chose to apply for the position of Principal because she wanted to help the students have a rich academic and college life. She hoped she could bridge the gap for students between the college as a place of learning and the college as residence. She often arranged trips to Toronto for the Art Gallery of Ontario, she invited professional musicians to perform concerts, and a wide variety of academic talks. During her time, she formed many connections with the Lady Eaton students which remains important to her to this day.
Carolyn has learned that one needs to trust their own ability to do the best one can. She feels it is important to work hard and keep your goals in mind; leadership is not about glory, but about helping others. It is important to ask for assistance from the individuals who can provide expertise and feedback, and can sometimes share their work with you. During her time as College Head and the Head of the History Department, she relied on those who knew of past procedures, connections to departments, or who could help her find the best strategy for succeeding. She thanks Katherine Curle, college assistant from 2010-2012 for guiding her through the responsibilities of College Head and assisting her in the organization of many college events. She also would like to thank the college cabinets for being excellent and knowledgeable partners in leadership of Lady Eaton College.
Carolyn had wanted to attend Oxford to complete her MA and then Yale to finish her Ph.D. She had to compete for fellowships; for Oxford she won a Commonwealth Scholarship and at Yale she received a four year fellowship. Carolyn found the work to be very challenging at times as the exams were very difficult and the thesis writing was very tough. She had to work hard to push through, be strong and not succumb to self doubt and fear. She believed hard work and perseverance would help her prevail and accomplish these goals. When she had more work to face, she kept her head up and kept trying. After graduating with her Ph.D, she joined Trent and she once again worked and worked at becoming a better teacher. She attended educational seminars and worked on her skills to be the best teacher and scholar she could be.
In 2005, Carolyn won the Symons Teaching Award and in 2006 she was awarded the OCUFA (Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Unions) teaching award for which she is extremely grateful for. Trent has given her wonderful opportunities to connect with with students, staff and faculty and Trent has allowed her to achieve her goals.