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Undergraduate Admissions Staffer Discovers Green Thumb During Quarantine
Meet Caitlin Locke, senior associate director of undergraduate admissions at the University of New Haven, a proud homeowner and dog owner who is looking forward to returning to her Saturday morning tag sale routine after the quarantine restrictions are lifted.
June 24, 2020
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: What do you like to listen to? Caitlin Locke: I love audiobooks. I have enjoyed a number of titles from Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Normally, I listen to them during my commute to campus, but since my time in the car is minimal now, I have started listening while I’m gardening, cooking, or folding laundry. I also recently discovered how to borrow audiobooks through my town library – a major win!
RC: What is your favorite outdoor activity? CL: Even in the cold winter months, I enjoy walking on the beach. I hunt for sea glass while I’m there. I grew up on the Jersey Shore, so spending time at the beach year-round has always been a staple for me. Check any of my jacket pockets and you’re likely to find a few pieces of sea glass from a recent stroll at the beach.
RC: What’s the most memorable thing you’ve ever eaten? CL: I’m not the most adventurous eater – I’m the one who orders the sweet potato roll at sushi restaurants. So, hands-down, the strangest and most memorable thing I have eaten is a Trader Joe’s peanut butter and banana dog biscuit. There are several of us in the undergraduate admissions office who are big fans of Trader Joe’s, and we’re always buzzing about our latest finds. Somehow, a conversation about those delicious-smelling dog biscuits turned into a group taste test. The results were unanimous – the aroma is a lot better than the taste!
RC: How have you been staying busy during the quarantine? CL: My husband, Chris, and I have been spending much of our free time outside in the yard. We’ve done so much yardwork and gardening. Although we’ve been doing a lot of weeding and mulching, the biggest highlight is our vegetable garden. This is our first one, and I may have gone overboard with the tomato plants. We have a lot of local critters that might like to stop by for a snack.
RC: Have you ever performed on stage? CL: I can’t recall ever being in a play or musical, but I have great memories of annual dance recitals – and the boxes of sparkly costumes. I started dance lessons when I was three years old, and I continued well into high school. I loved learning new skills, memorizing the routines, and having a community to be a part of after school.
RC: When life goes back to “normal” after the pandemic, what are you most looking forward to doing? CL: This time of the year is usually one of my favorites for tag and estate sales. While I have always loved finding a good bargain, I really enjoy stumbling upon fun, unique pieces of furniture, art, or interesting antiques. When life goes back to normal, I’ll be reading the classifieds for upcoming sales, plotting a route, and prioritizing a stop for good coffee early on. I used to have to bribe my husband with a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich to join me, but now he’s totally on board. He is missing our fun Saturday mornings, like I am!
RC: What is one thing you are passionate about? CL: We purchased our first home in the spring of 2018, and we have been diligently plugging away at house projects ever since. While the house was not exactly what we had in mind when we started our search, we tried to see past the wild paint colors and jungle-like landscaping. We’re no Chip and Joanna Gaines, but we have put in a lot of effort and are proud of what we’ve done so far. We’ve quickly learned that the work is never done when you’re a homeowner, but it’s all worth it because we were able to rescue our dog, Kona! She came from Tennessee, and she is a lab mix. It was love at first sight.