Student Spotlight: Kaylee Verkruisen

Hometown: Coboconk, ON
Research Interests: Representation and sexualization/genderization of women in medieval art, The Martyrdom and Cult of Saint Agatha

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1. What do you do outside of class/academic work?
I draw and paint as well as play several PC games regularly, my favourite of which is a point and click mystery series of games produced by Her Interactive (there are currently 30 games out!) in which you get to be Nancy Drew and solve mysteries through a series of puzzles.

2. How did you get started with this activity?
There are several artists in my family, and I particularly enjoyed watching my mom paint or draw and to look at her artworks. As for the Nancy Drew games, my sister and I got one of them for Christmas one year and we were hooked from that moment on. We’re now working towards collecting all 30 games and even though we’re both adults and in university we get together at least once a year to solve one or more mysteries.

3. What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your CV/resume alone?
I’m a huge animal lover. I essentially grew up in a small zoo and had a plethora of dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, small birds, parrots, swans, chickens, pigs, horses, goats, donkeys, giant snails and sugar gliders at my fingertips. Most of these animals were kept either at my house or my grandmothers house on her hobby farm just minutes down the road, where at one time there were 50 (yes that many!) dogs on her property.

4. What’s next for you?
I am taking the next year off in order to work on my PhD applications for the next year. I hope to take this time to work on narrowing my research interests. I will also be taking some language courses (time to learn German!) and studying for the GRE so that I’m not limited to the Canadian life forever.

5. What is your favourite thing about Toronto?
The Cat Cafe! I had many pets growing up and got used to studying surrounded by furry friends. I have gone to the Cat Cafe nearly weekly since moving to Toronto because I enjoy the friendliness of the staff and the ability to love these cats that often came from the streets or were in less than happy housing situations and deserve all the cuddles.

6. You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
I would be a golden yellow crayon because it is a warm and happy colour that has the ability to brighten anyone’s day. This is also the colour I chose to paint my room the first time I had the chance to pick a room colour… to this day it looks like the sun is shining in there even if the lights are off!

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