Meet Kevin Forti, the Director of Residence Life and Housing at Clark University!
JumpOffCampus is a powerful tool for those Clark Students who wish to live off campus. For upper-class students looking to move off campus for the first time, JumpOffCampus gives them a smart way to compare and contrast various apartment costs, locations, configurations, and amenities. JOC is especially helpful for incoming Graduate Students, especially those who are international and coming to Worcester for the first time. Gone are the days of trying to help these students figure out how far a paper listing was from Clark, etc. Now they can visualize and map properties, see photos of the actual rooms, etc. It does things that our old-fashioned paper listing never could!
Where did you attend college? What was your major?
I have a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Western New England University, and a Master’s of Education from Springfield College. My undergraduate major was Technical Management, and my graduate program was Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education.
What does your job entail?
As Director, I manage all housing, operations, logistics, budgeting, strategic planning, hiring, and day to day management of Residential Life and Housing at Clark.
How long have you been working in housing?
I have over 12 years of experience in the field, including 8 years at Clark.
How did you get into the field of university housing?
I applied to be a Resident Advisor my Junior year of college, was hired, and never looked back. From there I became a Residence Manager, an Area Coordinator, Assistant Director, and eventually Director.
What do you feel is the most important or difficult part of your job?
People don’t recognize that the summer is actually the busiest time for me by far. During the academic year there is a lot going on, but it is paced out reasonably, whereas come the end of May, the pressure is on to be ready for August. Take this summer. Right now I am in the process of hiring 3 professional positions, building a multi-million dollar addition to two of our halls in a 12 week window, coordinating Graduate, First Year, Transfer, and Returning Student housing assignments, reengineering a number of protocols and procedures, on top of answering around 100 emails per day, mostly from students and parents asking all about housing stuff. It is non-stop all summer long, and yet when I tell people I work at a University, they always think I must have summers off!
What is your favorite part of your job?
I love to re-engineer and improve on processes. I also love the capital improvement, reinvestment and management aspects of my job. Having a background in technical management, it makes sense that I really get a lot of joy out of renovation and improvement work.
Do you have a favorite moment from your work at Clark?
There are many, but I would say that the best ones are the times when I get to recognize the hard work and commitment that my professional and student staff put into residential living here at Clark. I am fortunate to work with amazing people with tremendous talents, and I love being able to celebrate that.
What has been the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short to dwell on the bumps in the road, so shake them off and celebrate the great things that come your way.
What is your favorite college memory?
No comment 😉
What kind of music do you listen to?
Everything! My iPhone has everything from Rap to R&B, Classical to Country, Techno to Theater. I love all types of music.
What are your hobbies?
I love to build things. I am a pretty good machinist and welder, and can make some pretty great stuff when I have the time. A few years ago I custom built a Model T go-kart, and am working right now on machining my own wedding ring out of titanium.
What is your favorite saying?
Not really, probably don’t sweat the small stuff!
Do you have awesome or ridiculous stories from working at Clark?
[No comment ;)]