Career Adviser Looks Back on Her Time as a Charger, First Job at New Haven Coliseum
Meet Kathy Forkin ’76, assistant director of career preparation programs at the University of New Haven’s Career Development Center, whose first job enabled her to see Elvis Presley in concert.
April 16, 2019
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
The lifeblood of the University of New Haven are the faculty and staff members who dedicate their lives to helping our students reach their goals. Periodically, we’ll introduce you to a member of the staff so you can learn more about him or her – beyond their day to day work.
Renee Chmiel: Tell us about your first job. Where did you work, and what were your responsibilities? Kathy Forkin: My first job was working at the New Haven Coliseum as an usherette. I wore white go-go boots! I would show people to their seats for various events. I saw Black Sabbath, the Allman Brothers, Aerosmith, David Bowie, the Grateful Dead, Alice Cooper, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, and many others. I did enjoy it very much, except for the hockey games. After I saw someone in the audience hit with a hockey puck, I decided not to work those events again. However, sometimes it was stressful having to tell people that they could not "smoke" during a concert. I have been good friends with two people that worked with me over 45 years ago.
RC: What is your favorite restaurant? What do you like to order? KF: My favorite restaurant is close to my house, and I can walk there: Bistro Mediterranean Tapas Bar in East Haven. I especially enjoy their tostada con langosta (lobster bruschetta) and gambas a la plancha (grilled shrimp).
"I graduated from the University of New Haven in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in history. I enjoyed knowing all my professors by their first names, and college was a wonderful experience for me."Kathy Forkin ’76
RC: What country would you like to visit? Why? KF: I recently had my DNA analyzed through Ancestry.com and I found out that I am 91 percent Irish and Scottish. I am planning to visit Ireland after I retire to meet my relatives.
RC: You are a University of New Haven alumna. What were you like in college? KF: I graduated from the University of New Haven in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in history. I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 19 years old, and I was supporting myself. I was focused on receiving my degree and also paying my rent and paying for groceries. Sometimes, I was the only female in my class. I enjoyed knowing all my professors by their first names, and college was a wonderful experience for me. I remember being invited over to professors’ homes for dinner and drinking sake for the first time.
RC: Do you have any pet peeves? What are they? KF: I do not like to see litter on the ground, especially in parking lots when the garbage can is visible. I don’t understand how someone can be in their car and just open the door and throw the food out. As someone who was once in a wheelchair for a period of time and had to learn how to walk again, I do get upset when I see someone parked in a handicapped space without a parking permit.
RC: Tell us about a hobby that you’re passionate about. KF: I enjoy reading books by James Patterson, Lee Child, and other mystery novelists. I especially enjoy reading at the beach with the sun shining, seagulls nearby, and the peaceful beauty of the water in the background. Currently, I am reading a book called "Lean in for Graduates" by Sheryl Sandberg. I highly recommend it as Ms. Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, and she speaks about solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.