A Cup of Joe... with Kevin Dancy
St. Michael's: When you first signed up for architecture school, what made you want to live at St. Mike's?
Kevin Dancy: In those days, St. Michael's College was one of the few residences accepting students from professional faculties. In its admissions handbook, instead of giving a specific number for profacs, it simply said 'some.' So I called the student dean, Fr. Harold Gardner CSB 5T4 then, who, instead of giving me a number, told me to come down and take a look. I did, I liked it and applied. SMC, Fr. Gardner and I have been friends ever since.
SM: How did you become Associate Dean?
KD:After finishing my three-year term as Don, I moved off campus. A couple of years later, the new Dean, Henry Mulhall, invited me back on campus as his assistant. So I moved into House 2, McCorkell House, which was nice then, but not nearly as nice as it is now! My role, first as Don and assistant to the Dean, quickly grew in scope and degree of responsibility until, in 2006, I became Associate Dean—and Acting Dean at times, as when our current Dean, Duane Rendle, took a six-month parental leave
SM: What’s your favourite part of the job?
KD: Living and working with students. When they come to university, their lives are just opening up before them, a great adventure. Being around all that positive energy and enthusiasm keeps you young. I also like the spectrum of what I do, from very technical things like designing admissions processes and systems to personal interaction with students and staff, which includes training and
supervising dons and working with students who might be in some sort of trouble. Knowing you’ve helped someone in extreme distress, whatever its cause, is rewarding, and also profoundly humbling.
SM: Soon you will add to your duties helping with Fr. Madden’s “Bulletin Board” column.
KD: Yes, many friendships are made here, and Fr. Madden has been a friend to many. Joining him in such an important part of the magazine is a great honour for both Duane and me. We look forward to helping people stay in touch.
SM: Living on campus, what do you do when you’re not “deaning?”
KD: I’m always “deaning!” I’m on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week from September to May. But I do squeeze in some Tai Chi. It’s very relaxing, good for building strength and improving health. Also, I got into cooking. It satisfies my architectural side, the part that likes to make things, so I make food. I really like the theory behind cooking and learning what it is that makes things taste great.
SM: What do you tell friends you love about where you live?
KD: I think the whole St. Michael’s College campus is beautiful. It’s like a little, beautifully kept village—the way the trees turn gold in the fall and the leaves cover the ground, and the lush green in summertime is amazing. And St. Basil’s Church. I find it a very peaceful environment.
SM: About your coffee—how do you like it?
KD: Yes, I drink coffee all the time. I'm also one of those who like flavoured coffees. And I have a sweet tooth, so a lot of cream and a certain amount of sugar.