Castleton State College is just that, a State College. Most across the United States would probably think of “The Rock” strictly as an island prison off the shore of San Francisco. But CSC’s student demographics support it too being nicknamed ‘The Rock.”
According to Fall 2006 official enrollment statistics, there are only 56 graduate and undergraduate students at Castleton from states outside the northeast.
Let’s meet a few of them, shall we?
Heather Patterson is an 18-year-old freshman from California. Like a majority of the non-locals, Patterson found CSC with “one of those college search engines.”
A skier, Patterson was also recruited by ski coach Chris Eder. She credits her immediate connection with Eder and members of the ski team for contributing to her decision to attend Castleton.
“It was a lot of fun when I visited Castleton,” she said. “I got along really well with everyone on the team and that made me feel better about coming all the way to Vermont.”
Obviously, Patterson experienced a climate change.
“It gets cold at home, but it is a different type of cold,” she said.
But the change in the temperature wasn’t the full extent of her not so toasty experience.
“I experienced frostbite for the first time,” she said. “That was interesting.”
Joseph Wissler is 20 years-old. Wissler has lived in California, New Mexico, Ohio, Colorado, Alabama, Virginia and Massachusetts. Now he attends Castleton. His father is an officer in the Air Force.
According to Wissler, many assume that all of the bouncing around has been a negative in his life. Not so.
“Not living in one place for more than four years has been an adventure,” Wissler said. “I have seen just about every part of the U.S. and have not regretted it one bit.”
Wissler, who will graduate from Castleton, will not be the first in his family to do so.
His grandfather is also a Castleton alumnus.
Megan Morton is a natural sciences major from Florida. Like Patterson, Morton utilized an Internet search engine to find CSC.
After filling in the criteria, she came up with Castleton and Johnson State College.
“I visited both and fell in love with Castleton for its personality and laid back atmosphere,” Morton said.
Her current advisor, Mark Fox, was her first contact on campus.
“Fox plays a major role in why I come here,” Morton said. “Teachers down to Earth like him are a rare find.”
Morton considers Fox a “mentor.”
Morton also credits Castleton’s science labs with getting her attention.
“As nice as Johnson’s were, they were very sterile in comparison to Castleton’s,” Morton said.
Christine Sadler is a second year Master’s student working on her M.A. in forensic psychology. She is 25-years-old and from Silver Spring, Maryland.
Like Morton and Patterson, Sadler found Castleton on the Internet.
“I had never heard of CSC before,” she said. “Barring one episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000.”
She refers to Castleton’s forensic psychology program as “world-renowned.”
A self-proclaimed “flatlander,” Sadler’s home in southern Maryland was only a short subway ride from the nation’s capital.
“I’ve heard fellow students complain that Castleton is in the middle of nowhere,” Sadler said. “And I do not disagree.”
Regardless of where they may come from, they are now in Vermont and stereoypes about Vermont do exist.
Sadler, when asked how she mirrors the Vermont population, thought she did quite nicely.
“I am Caucasian, I have relatively liberal views on most things and I consider Subarus practical, reliable vehicles,” she said.