S. Caroline Kerr ’05 is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of the Joyce Ivy Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers programs and scholarships to help young women from the Midwest attend college. At Dartmouth, Kerr majored in Sociology major modified with Women’s and Gender Studies. She also earned a minor in Education. She was also a member of Palaeopitus senior society, competed on the women’s crew team, and was Dartmouth Rainbow Alliance co-chair, among other activities.
Kerr is president of DGALA, Dartmouth’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender alumni association. She has previously worked in Dartmouth’s admissions office and recently completed a master’s degree at Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Please provide a two sentence description of what you do.
I lead a non-profit organization that seeks to raise and broaden the college aspirations of talented female high schools students. The Joyce Ivy Foundation works with a variety of partner organizations across different sectors as we engage in our work.
What is most satisfying about your current work?
I believe in the mission of helping to connect talented youth with educational opportunities at highly selective colleges and universities (such as Dartmouth.) I enjoy the variety in my work: developing strategy, launching new initiatives, managing a team, and thinking creatively about how we contribute to the national landscape of college access.
What’s the best way to enter your field? Any essential elements of preparation?
The Joyce Ivy Foundation works specifically in the realm of college access, and I have previously worked in college admissions and college counseling. In an entrepreneurial setting, thinking creatively about partnerships and bringing an enthusiasm to relationships with potential partners, donors, and other supporters is invaluable.
What advice would you give to others seeking opportunities in this field?
Take advantage of volunteer or internship opportunities as a way to gain exposure to the field or work of interest, and use those opportunities to build your network.
How has Dartmouth supported you in your career development?
My undergraduate courses, jobs and internships, and involvement in student organizations prepared me to work effectively with a range of colleagues. I worked in the Undergraduate Admissions Office after college, and the work environment and mentoring I received prepared me well for graduate school and other professional roles. I have also been active in Dartmouth alumni leadership, such as the Alumni Council and affiliated groups, which has significantly contributed to my leadership development as well as provided me an opportunity to stay engaged with Dartmouth.