Dennis Proulx has made it his personal goal to enhance the college experience for Castleton State College students.And as a 1987 graduate and longtime residence life director, the new dean of students has some knowledge behind his efforts.
“When a student sees themselves as just going to class, they are not getting involved. They need to be involved and interact with faculty and staff to learn life skills needed to be an adult,” said Proulx.
Student life is an umbrella term for many significant aspects of a student’s experience at Castleton including activities, public safety, career development, conferences and events, Wellness Center, health and dining services and residence life.
Student Life “challenges students to succeed both academically and socially at Castleton,” he said.
An average day for Proulx consists of meetings with staff, the cabinet, campus committees and directly with students. Oh, and lots of paperwork, he said.
Proulx comes across as a nice guy with a calm demeanor who clearly cares about students and wants them to succeed.
“It is a personally and professionally satisfying job,” said Proulx.
Student Life is also responsible for several changes taking place on the Castleton campus, Proulx said. The Public Safety Department has a bigger staff, there are new coordinators in Residence Life, the Campus Activities Board is planning more trip and the Wellness Center is offering massages and other events to promote healthy lifestyle choices for students and faculty, he said.
“Castleton is just a very special place. I love my job,” said Proulx.
By creating a fun atmosphere, Proulx said Castleton has had record attendance at athletic events, sell-outs at concerts and better attendance at various campus events.
“I think that Castleton tries really hard to make things happen on campus. I see a lot of stuff going on, even little things, but all of it adds up and gives the students a chance to have something fun to do,” said senior Matthew Bijas.
Castleton strives to provide academics and a variety of programs and services to students to interest and enhance their experience, Proulx said. The college promotes responsibility, respect, leadership, citizenship, and most importantly learning.
Proulx said Castleton is expanding and providing more entertainment, improved academics, and other significant steps to engage and empower students.
Courtney Parker, a sophomore, said the efforts are working and help add to the small-school charm.
“I love how small Castleton is and how no matter where you go on campus you always see someone you know. The Spartans are like one big family,” said Parker.
Overall, Proulx and the staff in Student Life are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that the experience college students receive at Castleton is more than just academics.
“I am one amongst a lot of people trying to pull off this thing called Student Life,” Proulx said with a smile.