By: Vivienne C.
Photographs: John Childermass
Everyone is likely familiar or has heard of Carly Pentewyn (nee. Cox), whether you were a client, have read her columns or attended her classes at CU. The decision to appoint her as the dean of CU has raised some eyebrows but did not really warrant any opposition.
While many might have some image or perspective of Carly’s character, I went with my colleague John to speak with her and present to you the unapologetic persona she would like everyone to see. I went back far in time and asked about what shaped Carly’s character at a young age.
“I grew up in L.A, oldest of seven. Three of my siblings have re-located to Hathian, two have again, and one remains, Detective Lydia Bae of HPD. We all grew up in Bel Air, but as the young rebel I was, I didn’t really fit the stereotype, and spent most of my adolescence on the beach, surfing, smoking weed and what not, and thus my grades suffered throughout high school, and Columtreal back then was not the academic hotspot of the country, and I found it was the only college willing to accept me in”Carly Pentewyn
Carly found herself as a popular attractive young woman on campus, who was exploring her sexuality but also engaged academically with her majors business and communication. It was this combination of personal experience and education that led Carly to consider working in the adult entertainment industry.
She found that she could make a lucrative business but also continue to pursue the education of herself and others, Carly has been lecturing at CU for years since her graduation on advanced sex-ed classes, business, and communication amongst others.
Why Become a Dean?
“I’m a dreamer and a visionary, so when I see unrealized potential in something, it motivates me to achieve changes, and that is really what led me to apply for the job as Dean, making the transition to the administrative level”Carly Pentewyn
The untapped potential of CU students is perhaps the focus or main motivation for Carly’s career shift but I also saw from her responses this aspiration to foster and provide an enviroment where students are empowered beyond academia.
“My teaching philosophy is based on how I learned best back then. Through the use of everyday examples from the environments in which the students live their lives, I teach the subjects in relation to everyday occurrences, so that it resonates with them on a much deeper level than just me reading from a script. Most students will fall a sleep during class if I like most professors, teach about lofty theories they can never use in their own lives, but if I teach about how I use marketing in porn, or how to innovate Gein Burger menus based on consumer desires, then they can relate to something, which resonates and garner their attentions”Carly Pentewyn
Motherhood and Carly
In the course of our conversation, the topic of motherhood emerged as I wondered if being a parent is also a reason for this interest in education of young people and investing their future. And perhaps there is, Carly wants her children to be “free thinking” individuals and would like to enforce this concept at CU. To support students in forming their own opinions based on free thought process.
I find that that in theory, this is an admirable purusit but there are also important pedagoical arguments for setting up boundaries within education that distinguishes between different concepts such as freedom of speech and hate speech.
I had wanted to end this profile on this note, but Carly challenged or dared me to ask questions I had felt were inappropriate to be asked. And so I voiced what many might also be thinking of when you hear the university hired a previous sex worker and porn actress to be the new Dean.
Perception and Authority
I’m glad I voiced those questions, because we had a lively discussion about power, perception and the ever present misgonystic stereotypes when it comes to women once they choose to be in a position of decision making and leadership.
“It’s not about my sexual openness really, but about the notion that people can only be one thing. Is Natalie Portman any less of an actor because she has a degree in psychology as well? Of course not, so why is it, that when it comes to sex, me being a porn actress, is perceived to also make me less qualified as a Dean? and More importantly. What does that say for womens rights to determine what they can do with their own bodies, if they must constantly be afraid that their careers will be questioned because of it. My authority as a Dean doesn’t suffer because I like to get gangbanged by several guys, but because some have taught their children that a womans palce is in the kitchen, and sex is best done with the lights out and noone knowing it happened”Carly Pentewyn
I think this strong statement portrays many facets of Carly’s character. You may find her strategy and priorities for CU here. I only add to that, since her appointment, with few incidents happening on campus including a sexual crime, the Dean has responded by hiring consultants to teach students self-defence and other useful skills to survive the streets of Hathian properly. One of these consultants is a former HPD officer Victoria Velez.
Dean Carly also takes mental health seriously, and so In an effort to make the student environment less stressful, CU has support the creation of a student community center which can be found on the corner of the footballfield across form the library. A Yellow house has been converted into a hangout spot, with turntables music podium for party hosting.
Whatever you may think of the new Dean of CU, I hope you judge her by her actions and professional approach for CU and not what she like to do or not do in her private time.
Further pictures can be found here