Shelly Wright oversees daily operations of the President’s Office and facilitates communication and interaction between the President’s Office and the College’s multiple internal and external constituencies. Ms. Wright is a member of the President’s Cabinet, the College’s senior leadership team, along with the President and four Vice Presidents. One of her chief responsibilities is to serve as the College’s Government Relations Officer, working with local, state and federal officials and advocating for the needs of the College.
Another responsibility is to oversee the College’s internal and external communication strategies. As Associate Vice President for Communication, she directs the Office of Communication and Marketing, which encompasses Media Relations, Web Communication, Design, Print, Mail and Video Services, and Alumni Communication. Wright also served on the Brand Marketing Task Force and is responsible for managing the implementation of the College’s brand identity across campus. She co-chairs the Marketing Council, a coordinating group with representation from the many departments across campus that perform communication and outreach activities for the College. She also serves on the Middle States Steering Committee and the Town/Gown Committee. She has represented the College on the former Citizen’s Advisory Committee of the New Paltz Transportation and Land Use Study and is currently a member of that group’s successor organization, the New Paltz Transportation Implementation Committee. Additionally, she has been instrumental in shaping the College’s emergency communication procedures and writing many of the College President’s major speeches.
Before joining the President’s Office in 2003, Ms. Wright spent seven years as a public relations and journalism professor in the Department of Communication and Media at New Paltz (1996-2003). During that time, she helped start and coordinated the Public Relations Program and briefly worked as interim director in the Office of Public Affairs in 2002.
She also taught public relations and journalism at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, for three years (1993-96). Her professional experience includes two years (1987-89) working in public relations for an international nonprofit organization in Geneva, Switzerland, where she wrote and edited print materials for distribution to internal and external audiences in both German and English. She also worked as a staff writer for The (Middletown, N.Y.) Times Herald-Record (1990-93) where she covered municipal government, education, business and police beats, and served as a copy editor, editing stories, writing headlines and proofing pages.
Wright earned her B.A. in journalism and German at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, in 1987 and her M.S. in journalism from Columbia University in 1990. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in sociology from the University at Albany. Wright resides in New Paltz with her husband and son.
Cathi Castillo became Executive Secretary to the President in June 2011.
She joined the College in 2006 as a Keyboard Specialist 1 in the Department of Human Resources and later became Department Secretary and Assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources. Prior to that, she served for seven years as Office Manager for Valley Management, a property management company in New Paltz. Cathi also owned and operated her own business for 13 years.
Lisa moved to the Hudson Valley area in April, 1998, and started work at SUNY New Paltz in the Office of Human Resources. In May, 1999, she accepted a job in the President's Office as secretary to the Executive Assistant to the President. She previously worked at SUNY Stony Brook in the Division of Campus Residences and prior to that worked at Monroe Community College in the President's Office as the secretary to the Executive Assistant to the President.
Lisa and her husband, Scott, reside in Kingston, NY.