Katie Forkey: ‘I am most proud of the work I've done in criminal justice’

April 28, 2019

Katie Forkey 


Princeton, MA 

What is your main extracurricular activity — why is it important to you? 

I have been in the Cornell Choirs since freshman year, and I have loved being a part of such a talented and committed community. I joined the Chorale, Cornell's largest mixed-voice choir, for my first year and learned a really incredible amount about technique, theory, and musicianship. In sophomore year, I joined the Cornell University Chorus, our treble voice choir, and my experience there has been remarkable in so many ways. I have been so privileged to sing with such a talented group of women and to share the joy of creating something beautiful every week.

What have you accomplished as a Cornell student that you are most proud of, either inside the classroom or otherwise?

I am most proud of the work I've done in criminal justice. Coming into Cornell, I had never thought about issues surrounding incarceration before in any depth. Through some excellent classes in the government department, the Cornell Prison Education Program, research with Professor Emerita Mary Katzenstein, and summer internships, I was challenged to think really critically about a system I'd previously taken for granted. Largely because of the resources and experiences Arts & Sciences provided me with, I've been able to contribute to the conversation on criminal justice reform both on and off campus.

If you were to offer advice to an incoming first-year student, what would you say?

Relax and take time to absorb all the wonderful resources and opportunities available at Cornell and in Arts & Sciences. I am a big planner; coming into college I thought I had my whole undergrad experience nailed down. In reality, so many of the experiences that were most memorable and impactful--from studying abroad at Oxford University to learning to play the organ, to TA-ing an English class in prison--were those I could never have anticipated.

  Katie Forkey