Convocation details new initiatives, diversity

Photo courtesy of Amanda Brault/Castleton Spartan 
President Scolforo addresses the crowd at convocation.

Castleton students, faculty and administration gathered in the Fine Arts Center on Aug. 29 for the annual convocation to discuss the slew of new things happening this year, ranging from new campus locations in Killington and Bennington to the new grant programs that have been introduced.

“There are so many exciting initiatives happening here at Castleton,” President Karen Scolforo told the packed FAC.

Scolforo addressed many topics that will be affecting both students and campus this year including several new employees, the large number of international students attending, and 21 new programs.

This fall, Castleton is welcoming new employees who will be scattered throughout different departments on campus. Scolforo emphasized that these new employees will help change the Castleton campus for the better.

“This year will be different than years before and it’s because of all of you,” she said to the new staff.

She also stressed that Castleton is represented by 40 different countries this fall and emphasized that International students add diversity to our campus.

“With each new person that comes to your classes, you’re able to understand expanded perspectives, new cultures and new ways of looking at the world,” she said.

Scolforo brought to light a coincidental story of how a minister of Grace Episcopal Church in Rutland founded Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.

“We have an articulation agreement with Doshisha Women’s College and last year we had five students here learning at Castleton University. This year we’ve welcomed three,” she said while recognizing them with applause.

Scolforo, Dean Peter Kimmel, and Dean Cathy Kozlik spoke about the addition of campuses in Killington and Bennington. Kimmel started by shedding light on how the new Bennington campus is specially equipped for nursing students, along with previous students of Southern Vermont College, which closed in the spring.

“We’re hoping to eventually expand that program to better serve students in Southern Vermont and the adjacent areas of Massachusetts and New York,” he said.

The new campus is located in The Vermont Mill and will be hosting many nursing students along with the department of Health, Human Movement, and Sport, which will be launching its new masters Athletic Training Program next summer.

A little farther north and closer to Castleton, the university has opened the Resort and Hospitality Management campus at Killington Mountain.

This campus specializes in a bachelor’s program for students interested in leadership and business. Kozlik mentioned that students there will gain the most of their education in only three years.

“Students will emerge three years later with highly marketable skills that will translate into key positions in hospitality as well as other fields,” she said.

Castleton has also made great strides this year to offer as much aid as they can to students. According to Courtney Widli, director of Development and Alumni Affairs University Relations, Castleton funded $10 million worth of scholarships for students.

“You are our primary focus and you are what makes us exactly what we are,” she said.

Widli drew attention to the recipients of scholarship money through a video about how it has changed their experience and approach to college at Castleton.

“There’s so many exciting initiatives that are happening here at Castleton, and they’re happening because of so many people including all of you,” said Scolforo.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Brault/Castleton Spartan 
Crowd looks on during convocation.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Brault/Castleton Spartan 
Peter Kimmel, Jonathon Spiro, and Cathy Kozlik, the three deans at Castleton, address the crowd at convocation. 

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