After graduation you never quite know where you’ll end up or what kind of opportunity you might have, and a true testament to this is alumni Emily Kilduff who graduated from Castleton in 2010 with a BA in English Literature and Concentration in Children's Literature.
With original plans to become a teacher, she ended up in a much different profession in Nashville, TN. Now Kilduff is working as an Associate Director for Volunteer Outreach in Development and Alumni Relations at Vanderbilt University.
“Unlike most people, our professors and mentors at Castleton probably still recognize us and think about us from time to time,” she said. “It feels like we had a real place at Castleton, rather than just simply being another student in the door and then another alum spit back out.”
Having the opportunity to create close relationships with her professors and classmates made it much easier for Kilduff to pursue her future aspirations. Still to this day she keeps in touch with her advisor, Education Professor Deb Waggett, and other faculty members who have made a significant impact on her educational journey.
More specifically, Karen Sanborn Coordinator of the Media Center pointed Kilduff in the direction she is happily working in now. Sanborn was the first one to introduce Kilduff to archival and library work, which was formative to the realization that she wanted to work in some form of non-profit public service.
“It was a twisty path to get here, but I know it all started with my work under Karen,” Kilduff said.
In addition to her position at Vanderbilt, she fundraises for a higher education institution and is a volunteer for one organization that focuses on education in an at-risk, minority community in Nashville and another that provides grants to children of restaurant employees who are experiencing life-altering circumstances. Additionally, in 2016, she will be a graduate of Belmont University with a Master's of Education in Organizational Leadership and Communication.
Nonetheless, Kilduff continues to hold that sense of pride that comes with telling people she was a Castleton graduate and wants current Castleton students to adopt this type of appreciation for the school that made her into the person she is today.
“Remember that your options are limitless,” said Kilduff, “Don't be afraid to do the thing your gut is telling you to do, even if it seems a little risky at the time and you aren't sure how it will work out.”