Kate of the Week: Katie Koivisto, the social worker who’d like to try her hand as a cheese maker

There are so many fascinating Kates out there. And every week, Kate-book.com is resolving to introduce you to a new one. This week, I would like you to meet Katherine Ann Koivisto, 28, of Denver, Colorado. Without further ado, 13 questions with Katie.

What’s your favorite thing about your name?

Kate is a STRONG name. You don’t mess around with a Kate. We don’t suffer fools.

Your least favorite thing about your name?

I think the combination of Katherine and Ann is the most common combo EVER. (Except maybe Elizabeth and Marie…which happens to be my mother’s name. We’re a boring bunch). I have multiple friends who are Katherine Anns. Also, I think we can all relate to being Katie or Kate (insert last initial here). I was Katie K for forever. I still am to some people.

Who is your favorite famous Kate?

My favorite famous Kate is bad ass feminist author Kate Chopin.

What do you do?

My job title is Healthcare Professions Program Coordinator at Mi Casa Resource Center. The short-form explanation is that I run a program at a nonprofit that trains under-served individuals (mostly women, mostly Latina) in the healthcare industry and then helps them get jobs post-training. It’s a wonderful program and I absolutely love working with my participants!

How did you get started in your line of work or study?

I am a social worker (I received my MSW from the University of Denver) and have always had a passion for community-based anti-oppressive practice. While my specific work background is pretty varied (health care policy research and analysis, child welfare case management, small nonprofit programs team among others), the common thread is working to eliminate systemic oppression and inequity and to promote strength and unity in my community. No matter what my actual job title is, I’m always a social worker and an advocate for social justice first and foremost!

What’s something you wish people knew or understood better about what you do?

I wish people better understood that systemic issues contribute to each of our statuses in society. Every person, from the most privileged to the least privileged, is affected by innumerable forces including culture, history, family, etc., that influence their ability to self advocate, to access resources, and to self actualize. No one gets to where they are in a vacuum. Once we incorporate that as part of the lens with which we see the world, we start to have more compassion and understanding for everyone around us.

In an ideal world, where making a living weren’t an issue, what would you be doing?

I really want to be a cheese maker! Like, work on a small dairy farm in the Pacific Northwest or something and just make cheese all day long. Bonus points if my dairy farm is attached to a vineyard.

What’s a band, television show, book, or movie that you hope Kate-book readers will go watch, listen to, or read RIGHT NOW?

Hmmm… so many options immediately flooded my mind… let’s say if you aren’t watching Parks and Recreation, you’re seriously missing out. A new season is about to start, so you have a few weeks to catch up on seasons 1-4 (they’re on Netflix right now!). Leslie Knope is such an incredibly written female character and I think we can all agree that Amy Poehler is just hands down THE BEST.

What’s your favorite stop to make on a road trip?

Any little diner where I can get awesome totally greasy heavy food and a bucket of Diet Coke. Sometimes you just need to get out of the car and eat a burger and fries in a vinyl booth.

Who is your celebrity doppelganger?

This one’s hard! I’ve never really been told I look like anyone famous. I’ll say I occasionally bear a striking resemblance to Frida Kahlo. When left to their natural state, my eyebrows are not kidding around, courtesy of my dad’s side of the family. Fun fact: Frida and I share a birthday!

What’s the first concert you ever went to?

The Dropkick Murphys in 1998 in a van held together by duct tape and driven by a friend’s older brother who did not exactly have a driver’s license. Sorry, Mom.

If you were forced to get a tattoo right at this moment, what would you get?

I actually have one in the works! It’s a piece of Polish folk art that features roosters and really bright flowers. (Trust me… it’s not crazy looking.) It’s gonna be a 1/2 sleeve on my right arm and I can’t wait to get the outlining started!

Know a Kate, Caty, Katherine, or Catelynn who needs to be Kate of the Week? Awesome! Send me a tip at kate.torgovnick@gmail.com. I will be in touch with them soon.

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One thought on “Kate of the Week: Katie Koivisto, the social worker who’d like to try her hand as a cheese maker

  1. Kaitlin Marie says:

    “Kate is a STRONG name. You don’t mess around with a Kate. We don’t suffer fools.”

    Lol! Sooooooooo true!!! Love it!

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