The Trent community was treated to a homecoming success story as high-profile Ryerson professor, Tomaz Jardim, returned to his undergraduate alma mater to speak in the Lady Eaton College “Pit.” While the topic of his lecture, The Mauthausen Concentration Camp Trial, may have hit a few somber notes, the overall mood of the packed hall was one of excitement.
“This is great,” exclaimed Dr. Jardim. “I remember hearing some great speakers sitting here in “the Pit.” I could never have imagined lecturing here myself.”
Dr. Jardim, who received his undergraduate degree in History at Trent in the late nineties, has garnered plenty of attention and respect for his work on the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and post-war military justice. Before being named as full-time faculty at Ryerson, he held the prestigious role of post-doctoral fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC. His current book, The Mauthausen Trial: American Military Justice in Germany, has been receiving very positive reviews. Leaning, as it does, on in-depth interviews of participants, his work stands as the definitive study of the Mauthausen Trial.
“It’s an honour to have Tomaz here today,” announced Professor Kay in her introduction. “He was one of the best students I have taught at Trent. I am proud of his achievements. His success is an inspiring example of how Trent students succeed after completing their degrees.”
Dr. Jardim’s tenure-track success was recognized by a number of students in the audience.
“It’s exciting to see a former Trent student reach the level of success that he has,” said fourth-year student, Ashley Neale. “You get a good idea of the respect that Trent grads can earn once they finish here.”
“It’s proof that you can not only survive, but succeed after Trent,” added fellow fourth-year student Allen Priest. “That kind of success gives students something to look up to – something to work towards.”
Taking time to talk with students after his lecture, Dr. Jardim had a simple message. “There are plenty of opportunities for academic careers out there,” he advised. “There is no mystery, no insurmountable barrier. It is a matter of starting on your path and finding your way. Find the research that you feel passionate about and get to work.”
Dr. Jardin’s research has earned him several fellowships and awards, including the Diane and Howard Wohl Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; an Ontario Graduate Scholarship; a Language Study Scholarship from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD); and the Bagnany Award for Excellence in the Field of History, Trent University. In 2009, Dr. Jardim was visiting assistant professor of Modern European and Holocaust History at Pacific Lutheran University. He has also worked as a fact checker and abstract writer for Holocaust memoirs submitted for publication to the Azrieli Foundation.
As a relatively young faculty member, Dr. Jardin seemed genuinely surprised about the number of years since he last visited “the Pit.”
“Really, it seems like it was just a few months ago,” he exclaimed. “But there is definitely a sense of pride and satisfaction getting the chance to speak here today.”