New communication professor moves from Cali

Photo courtesy of Aris Sherwood/Castleton Spartan 
Sam Davis-Boyd sits in her new office. 

This year, Castleton University welcomed a new face to our campus. She can be found down in the basement of Leavenworth in the Communication department, with pink hair and an assortment of tattoos.

Sam Davis-Boyd comes from California to teach at Castleton University after getting her Master of Fine Arts in Cinema from San Francisco State University. She will be teaching video courses at Castleton. After one conversation with her, it is clear that she has a passion for films, filmmaking, and teaching. So, I sat down with her to do a Q&A, so I- and other students- can get to know her.


Where are you from?

I grew up in Southern California and have lived in Northern California for the last 10 years, and now I’m here!


How did you end up in Vermont, specifically Castleton?

When I got into the Cinema program, I knew I wanted to teach at the college level. So when it came time for me to look at job, I kind of cast a wide net and I was open to moving wherever. I love California but I’ve been there my whole life, it was time for a new adventure. I saw Castleton and just thought it seemed like a great community, a lot different than a lot of the other universities that I was looking at in terms of the culture and the community. I saw that and thought ‘I want to be a part of that.’


How did you get into your line of work?

I actually came to filmmaking specifically as a documentary filmmaker. I came to filmmaking through journalism. I spent a lot of my younger years really wanting to write and wanted to be a journalist. Then I got to college and realized that I loved writing, but I wanted to do something… I don’t know, it just didn’t feel right, I guess. So I kind of just stumbled into film that way because I loved talking to people and making connections, and film and making documentaries was my way of doing that, and adding a visual component to it. As a filmmaker, I’m interested in telling stories that elevate women and queer voices.


What has been your favorite part of Castleton so far?

I’m coming from a huge metropolitan university where there’s thousands and thousands of students just in the department I was in. So I love the community aspect of it because everybody knows everybody, and everybody’s so nice, and friendly, and open, and just wanting to talk, so I love being a part of this kind of community.


What are the biggest differences between California and Vermont?

One of the things that I’ve been dealing with is that I don’t have cell service… yeah that’s not great! So that’s been different. And it’s just really quiet. But that’s not a bad thing, though. I’m really enjoying the quiet contemplation that I get to have.


Favorite film?

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision by Frieda Lee Mock… I also love one called Burn In Flames by Lizzie Borden. I watch a lot of documentaries.


Go-to coffee order?

I’m actually not a coffee drinker! I’m more of like a chai tea person.


The beach or mountains?

Mountains. I’m a hiker.


If you could only do one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Spend time with my wife and two dogs.


Fun Fact?

I’m a vegan!


Describe yourself in three words?

Creative, storyteller, passionate.

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