Communications office always busy

The sound of keyboards chirp as three people sit at their computers with the soft glow from the screens illuminating their concentrated faces. The air is warm and smells of worn books and coffee. A phone rings. Everyone here is busy – and it’s hardly 8 a.m.

This is the Communications Office at Castleton State College and although small and tucked away from other departments, it is purring with work and projects that many students may not be aware of.

Ennis Duling is head of the department, but there are many layers to his daily tasks. He is photographer, writer and editor of many campus pamphlets and the online “News and Events” column on the Castleton home page.

“Eehhh I really don’t do that much. Nothing goes on here,” said Duling through a slight grin and modest tone.

He and his team, consisting of Kate Richards and Jane Foley, have most recently been working on a Castleton Alumni catalogue celebrating 225 years of Castleton State College. The catalog will be available in the next couple of weeks and focuses on the success and events that have happened on campus over the past 225 years.

But not all of what this department does is about the past; in fact most of what is written about is about the present and future.

Enter Facebook and Twitter.

Kate Richards is the brains behind the social media operation. She established the Facebook page last August and it turned out to be the only form of communication when Tropical Storm Irene hit Vermont, destroying the email systems on campus.

“It was the only way we could get information out to students and parents,” Richards said.

The Facebook page was an excellent way to keep in touch, she said. Maps and alternative routes were provided for students returning to campus. Weather updates went out about Castleton and the surrounding areas and “students all over the state used our Facebook page as a way to set up carpools,” she said.  

“It really saved the whole situation from being even more terrible during the flood crisis,” Richards added, looking grateful and slightly proud of the

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