At Columbia University, Stephanie Doyle patrols the 116th Street area by car, working as a security officer in the campus’ mobile unit. Part of her job is to escort affiliates and students from point A to point B.
Doyle’s first stint in public safety has been at Columbia University for the past three years, which came after a career change. She had been a manager at multiplex movie theaters in both Florida and New York, where she worked for many years. One of her responsibilities included training new hires, so she brings with her plenty of experience to her new pursuits.
Doyle is also her own best student. She has taught herself the art of baking and the craft of crochet, by watching tutorials on YouTube and reading books. One long-term project is due to be completed by this Thanksgiving—an oval, crochet tablecloth for a dinner she is planning with family and friends at her home in Brooklyn.
Baking is another passion of Doyle’s. In addition to creating cupcakes and brownies, one of her self-imposed challenges is to bake a Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. “It costs so much to buy, so why not make it myself? And I can share it with others,” she says.
Doyle likes her job. She says she enjoys meeting a lot of different people “on a day to day basis, talking to them, hearing their stories. It’s fun. You never know who or what you will bump into, or who you’re talking to. It could be the King of Timbuktu or a person who was born and raised in the neighborhood.”
Stephanie Doyle is currently in Miami, on a six-month leave of absence from Columbia University.
In Miami, she is reaching out to non-unionized property workers. “I ask them questions about their experiences, and guide them if they wish to become union members,” Doyle says. “I inform them about union benefits, living wage and respect on the job.”
When she returns to her post at Columbia University in November, she says she will also be continuing her education in the security profession by taking classes to become a trainer of aspiring security officers. Presently, “being a security officer is giving me that experience so when the day comes to be in front of the students, I’ll be able to answer all their questions clearly,” Doyle says.