Ashley Acuna

Environmental Science, '13

Vermont native and Castleton alumna Ashley Acuna consider Castleton as much more than simply a place to further her education, but instead considered it a home away from home in many ways.

“Castleton is unique because everyone, the students, professors, staff, and community, actually care about the wellbeing of each other. It literally is a small school with a big heart,” said the Environmental Science major with a minor in Business Administration.

Acuna spent her time at Castleton becoming greatly involved in a wide variety of areas around campus. Some of her most fond memories came from her position as a Community Advisor and Senior Community Advisor. Through Residence Life, she was able to gain new friends and become more active in school activities.

Acuna also enjoyed working with and getting to know her professors both inside and outside of the classroom. 

“The professors take the time to get to know you and not just to teach you but to help guide you through your first year or so out of school,” she said.

Acuna’s advisor, Biology Professor Cynthia Moulton, served as a mentor that she looked up to. Acuna said Moulton always supported her decisions and helped guide her into her post-graduate career.

Environmental Chemistry Professor Andy Vermilyea was another professor who helped shape Acuna’s future. He aided her in getting a research grant and assisted her with applying for various jobs.

With the support from the faculty at Castleton, Acuna took the initiative to move and branch out of her comfort zone.

Currently she is living in Virginia Beach, VA working as the Volunteer Coordinator at First Landing State Park and also as a weekend educator for the Virginia Aquarium. Even though she has moved on, Acuna credits Castleton as the place that made her career possible.

“Castleton gave me the courage and knowledge to be able to move to a new state and start a life there,” Acuna said. “Knowing that if I had any questions or concerns I would be able to call anyone from Castleton made me reassure my decision to move.”