Married to Education


A passion for learning drew this pair of professors from Jamaica

Moving to Massachusetts and then choosing to put down roots here was all about education for Drs. Carol and Erold Bailey.

Born and raised in Jamaica, the Baileys moved to Massachusetts in 2002 to pursue doctoral degrees, having been drawn here by the state’s superior reputation for academics. They were familiar with the region, since they both earned master’s degrees at Clark University in the ’90s before returning to Jamaica in 1998 to complete their theses.

Erold says their decision to return was based on the belief that Massachusetts residents were among the most progressive in their thinking and attitude toward immigrants and diversity.

They received their doctorates from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2007—a Ph.D. in English for Carol and an Ed.D. for Erold in education. The Baileys considered moving back to their home country, in small part because they so missed the cuisine. They decided to stay in Massachusetts, this time for the sake of their young daughters’ education.

So the Baileys, who were school teachers in Jamaica, started job searches, and both landed at Westfield State in the fall of 2012. Carol is assistant professor of English, and Erold is assistant professor of education. Their focus continues to be on quality education, but in their new roles, they are the educators.

“My commitment to education is to mold young people into becoming better individuals than the generation before them,” Erold says. “My desire is to influence young people to be more thoughtful, caring and productive individuals. After teaching at the K-12 level for many years, I have decided that this mission can be more expansive if I could influence other educators to pursue the same agenda.”

Carol says she enjoys the opportunities that come with teaching at a university level.

“Teaching allows me to be a lifetime learner,” Carol says. “Teaching in higher education provides many opportunities—conferences, seminars and other activities that involve significant formal learning. I also like the flexibility that teaching at the college level affords me. I enjoy designing my own courses or shaping department courses around my areas of interest and expertise.”

While the Baileys love Massachusetts, they continue to struggle to comprehend the diverse culture of their new country.

“Understanding the racial dynamics of the United States—which is hugely different from that of the Caribbean—has been, and continues to be, a significant learning curve for my family and me,” Carol says.

Erold has long-term plans to connect Westfield State to a university back home.

“With Westfield State’s focus on international education, I am hoping that in the future, I can play a role in bringing Westfield State and Micro University College in Jamaica together.”


About Author

Leave A Reply