Every fall, new faces arrive on campus. They pack their bags, move into a room, and prepare themselves for everything to come. New experiences, new responsibilities and new friends.
A new place to call home.
Emily Gordon and Cora Churchill fit this description, but they are not first year students. They are the new Area Coordinators.
The ACs oversee residence life, and work with the Community Advisors to help them make Castleton residence halls the best they can be for students living on campus.
So far, there have been nothing but positive reactions to the new AC’s.
“I think both of them have been an amazing addition to the residence life staff. They are always so positive and energetic, and they bring this vibe to residence life that makes it such a cheerful environment,” Senior CA Bre Morse said of Gordon and Churchill.
Last year, there were four AC’s, but this year, the number has decreased to three. Shaun Williams, who has been working at Castleton for six years is the third AC, but he also holds a new position as the assistant director to residence life.
Generally, positions like AC’s are seen as a short-term position, lasting around three-four years, but Williams is an exception.
“I love it here too much to leave. There’s such a family feel. I went to a large school, but there’s something special about Castleton. I hope that people can see that they can get an education anywhere, but there’s no place like Castleton,” he said.
The family aspect is a shared feeling.
“I’m loving it so far! It keeps me on my toes. I went to UVM which was so big and crazy, but this place really has a hometown feel. The students and staff are great, it really feels like family,” Churchill said of her new job.
So what was it about Castleton that attracted Churchill and Gordon?
Gordon was told about the position by Melissa Paradee, and realized she knew more about residence life than she thought.
“Everyone is so welcoming and helpful. I don’t feel like a burden, they’re always willing to answer my questions. And I ask a lot of questions,” Gordon said.
Gordon’s staff appreciates her willingness to ask all those questions.
“She’s also willing to admit she doesn’t know something. I love that about people in authoritative positions because it shows they are human too,” said Kyla Leary, a trainable CA in Hoff.
Though all three ACs are unsure of where they will be in five years, all are loving it here for now.
“I’ll probably stay here for three or four years, and get my master’s degree after that. I really want to work with program housing somewhere, so I’m glad I get to develop that here,” Churchill said.
Gordon would like to explore student affairs, and has experience in teaching, but still hasn’t decided where she will be after her time here is done.
Williams also hopes to get his Master’s degree.
“I may or may not be here, may or may not be in the same title. I just love it because the students have taught me more about myself than I have taught them. This is my home,” he said.