After an extremely long search of many applicants, members of Castleton’s Communication office have hired a new communication assistant to fill the big shoes of former Communication Assistant Koran Salem-Trombley.Rutland native Kate Richards comes to Castleton via Keene State College in New Hampshire, where she received her bachelors degree in art and graphic design.
“I am excited about living back in the area,” she said in an interview last week.
Richards graduated from Keene three years ago, where she then began to do freelance graphic designing while searching for the perfect job.
The search to fill the position began after Trombley tragically lost her battle with cancer last February.
Trombley was a well respected alumni, co-worker and mother by the entire Castleton community. Her outstanding work ethic and love for the college left big shoes to one day be filled.
“Its always intimidating coming into a position that has already been filled. I am respectful of the fact I have big shoes to fill and everyone was really close with her,” said Richards.
Ennis Duling, director of communication at Castleton, said little when asked about having to replace his longtime co-worker.
“I think very highly of both of them,” he said.
The position Richards has assumed includes task like designing and formatting books, programs and mailers along with press releases for all college events.
The search to fill the position was no simple task, said Jane Foley, assistant communication director. There were more than 50 applicants for the position, but she said “Kate’s cover letter was better than anyone else, it was personal.”
“Kate quickly rose to the top of the pile. Every step she continued to do very well,” said Duling.
After five phone interviews, Richards was one of the three candidates invited to Castleton for a final interview. She met with a committee of six or seven people chosen from different departments they work regularly with for a nice blend of opinions and thoughts.
Finally, Richards’ cover letter, outstanding portfolio and personality landed her the position.
“She had a nice blend of what we were looking for,” said Foley. “Kate had the right qualifications, the right fit for what we were looking for. We needed someone who we felt comfortable with and also felt comfortable with us and it was clear that Kate was the one.”
Duling echoed the praise of Richards.
“When you go through an interview process, you try your best to pick the best person, and I believe we made a very wise decision,” said Duling.
School was in session, it was Sept. 1 and Richards’ long hair was swept in the cool late summer breeze as she began her first day, she recalled.
“It was a good way to start, coming in and seeing kids on campus,” she said
Although Richards has only been working with the department for approximately two months, Foley said she has already made a difference in the office having done work on the Web site and projects with alumni office.
“We are very, very happy and hope Kate is also very happy,” said Foley.
Now nestled into her new office, Richards is looking forward to becoming more familiar with Web design.
“Working in the office has already been a great learning experience. I love it. It’s amazing, I love to interact with students and faculty members,” she said.