Staff Spotlight - Kindra Graham, Security Manager, Yale Public Safety
January 15, 2020
Kindra Graham may be new to Yale, with just under a year of service, but she isn’t new to public safety. Kindra worked as a 911 dispatcher in Gainesville, Florida, and then as a security manager at Wesleyan University. Currently, she is a Security Shift Manager working evenings managing fifteen security officers. When she’s not in her office at Phelps Gate, you can find her traveling around campus checking in with her staff and looking for ways to improve the services they provide.
Born in Hollywood, Florida, Kindra grew up in the tiny town of Nesmith, South Carolina. She has a B.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina Upstate. She is currently in a master’s program at New England College, where she is studying higher education administration with a concentration in campus public safety.
Kindra, who still is adjusting to New England winters, came to Connecticut for a dispatcher position at Wesleyan where she was quickly promoted to a security lieutenant. “I wanted to branch off and try something different. I came here to visit some friends. It was freezing my first few months here, but I got the job at Wesleyan and gained a ton of experience there. While I’m still cold, I really enjoying working at Yale and love my co-workers,” said Kindra.
Kindra shared a little about herself, her job at Yale, and her advice for others wanting to work in public safety.
What was your very first job?
When I was in college, during one summer break, I worked at Target as a cashier. When summer ended, I happily went back to school and never looked back. But it was a good first experience working with the public.
What advice would you give a woman wanting to get into the Public Safety sector?
Occasionally, you will feel a little lost because the field is male-dominated. Keep yourself motivated and realize that as women we bring a lot to the table. Spend your energies working on improving things in your area. Try not to focus on being the only woman in your department or area. Don’t feel that you must constantly prove yourself. Take on attainable projects. You will be respected for your tenacity.
What is the biggest challenge of you currently face?
Many colleges have closed campuses. Since Yale is in the middle of the City of New Haven, we are embedded within this community. Our daily interactions are with both members of the Yale and New Haven communities. Interactions are equally important, regardless. It’s important to figure out how to navigate and keep providing great customer service. We need to be able to help a student locked out of their room or help visitors find their way to a restaurant.
Most interesting thing about working at Yale?
For a school this size, it really feels like a close-knit community. All the departments are interconnected with Security and that makes our job interesting. Some departments need one kind of support and other departments require something completely different. There is always something going on, student events, VIP visits. It’s great work and never dull.
If you weren’t working as a security manager, what would be your dream job?
Initially, I wanted to go into research, particularly studying autism spectrum disorder (ASD). I thought of becoming a child psychologist studying the impacts of this disease on young children and how I could help them. Growing up, I noticed it in my small community that some children did not get the chance to learn or develop. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with (ASD). So, there is a great need out there in this area.
What are your hobbies or what do you do on the weekends?
I love to shop and travel. Most of my family is down South, so I visit often. I enjoy just hanging out on the front porch with my cousins–talking and laughing a lot.