Countless Castleton University workers also spent time here as a student. One of those is Jake Rick, the grounds supervisor of the Facilities Department. He spent six years as a student at Castleton – and now comes here every day to work – and get paid.
Rick has an undergraduate degree in physical education and a master’s in education. Even though he’s obviously not a physical educator, he does believe that Castleton helped prepare him for his job.
“Going to Castleton helped me learn what works best for me,” Rick said.
When he was looking for physical education jobs in the area and not finding anything, someone suggested that he apply for the grounds supervisor job. Since he knew a lot of people who work here from being a student and has experience in the field from owning his own landscaping business in high school, it worked out well.
“Because Jake is a Castleton graduate, it was a much smoother transition into his position as grounds supervisor. He already knew the campus and many of the coaches and staff he would interact with,” said Chuck Lavoie, director of Facilities.
Rick agreed that knowing where everything is and knowing much of the staff is very helpful in his position. As the grounds supervisor, Rick said he is in charge of six people. They mow the campus lawns, set up for events like homecoming and commencement, set up classrooms for events and meetings, clean up things like beer cans, empty trash cans, remove snow and rake leaves.
Victoria Angis, the assistant dean for Campus Life, is on the Disabilities Access Committee, the Green Campus Work Group, and the Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force with Rick. They also work on commencement together.
“His biggest advantage is knowing the culture and community standards. He knows the behaviors not tolerated or appreciated. Those are the things that are hard to teach a new person,” Angis said.