Mariah Phillips

Fine Art, '12

Mariah PhillipsWhen Fine art alumna Mariah Philips reflects on her time at Castleton, what sticks out most is how much the experience made her grow, both personally and professionally.  

“The woman who graduated from Castleton was very different than the girl who went in,” she said. 

Currently enrolled at OTIS College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California, Phillips is working toward a master’s degree in Graphic Design.  

“Growing up in Vermont, I always had an urge to see more of the world,” she said. “Spending four years at Castleton helped build up that eagerness. Starting somewhere small inspired me to go someplace totally different.” 

Philips credits many of her professors from across campus as being instrumental during her time at Castleton.  

“Being among professors and faculty that are as dedicated and supportive as they are ignites your own passion to learn and pushes you to become better,” she said. 

Phillips chose to attend Castleton to avoid feeling like a random student in a large lecture hall. Once she got here, she found that the campus setting taught her to slow down.  

“Although the town is small, it allows one to slow their pace and to better figure out where they want to go. It helps sort out your next move and it helps build up your confidence,” she said. “And I mean, nothing beats fresh air and those green mountains.” 

Former President Dave Wolk’s dedication to the school and its students stands out as one of Philip’s strongest memories of the University as he made her feel part of the Castleton family and not just a number or a face in the crowd. 

“To me, the most unique characteristic about Castleton would be its location and the classes it offers. Despite its small size, there are so many areas you can major in. From Nursing to Geology, Castleton has something for you. The location was one of my favorite aspects, close to Killington and only a couple hours from Burlington; you can get the full Vermont experience,” she said.  

Phillips offers the following advice to current students: 

“My advice for current students would be this: See it through. Find your passion and run with it. Pay attention to your failures and mix-ups; those are the lessons that will make you better. Talk to each other. Also, don’t be afraid to try something new,” she said. “Always be happy, but never be satisfied. Keep that hunger that pushes you to go further. Do more than what is asked of you.”