From the Classroom to the Courtroom: United States Army Counsel Got Her Start at the University of New Haven
Captain Kristen (O’Keeffe) Dorfman ’14, a judge advocate and special victims’ counsel for the United States Army, attributes much of her success to her experience at the University.
February 27, 2019
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
Kristen Dorfman ’14, a captain in the U.S. Army, represents victims of sexual assault throughout the justice process. She credits many of the experiences she had as a student, especially her involvement as a student leader with ChargerREC, for preparing her for such an influential position.
"So much of what I learned helps me every day," said Dorfman, who majored in criminal justice. "I am constantly tasked with new challenges, and I know that I must attribute a lot of my success as a leader to my time with ChargerREC."
She joined the ChargerREC team as a customer service attendant, greeting members as they came in. Often working early morning shifts, she says the members who came in full of energy brightened her days.
Dorfman says she made many close friends while working at ChargerREC, and she is grateful for the opportunity she had to meet people of diverse cultures and backgrounds. She eventually was given more responsibility, serving as a building supervisor.
"So much of what I learned helps me every day. I am constantly tasked with new challenges, and I know that I must attribute a lot of my success as a leader to my time with ChargerREC." Kristen Dorfman ’14
"It made me feel much more confident in myself, knowing that I was trusted with helping to run the facility," she said. "Whether it was opening in the morning, closing at night, assisting my peers with their duties, or aiding and reporting any injuries or events, I was up for the challenge."
Juggling her position with her full-time course load, Dorfman also completed an internship with the State of Connecticut’s judicial branch, working with the clerk’s office. She’s grateful for the opportunities that she had as a Charger.
"I truly learned how to be a leader and how to be part of a team," Dorfman said. "These skills have been important in every aspect of my current job, and many jobs I've had since graduating. I learned that the best leaders are successful because they know how to also be part of a team."