Catching up with...Vernon Castillo

Publication Date

Vernon Castillo, a senior associate dean of Admissions, joined Union in 2003. When not at work, he can be found on his farm with his wife, two sons, two dogs and many chickens. It is called Kava La Reina Farm (Queen Bee Farm; kava is Guarani for bee). “We are beekeepers,” he says, “a skill that I learned in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, where I met my wife, who was an agriculture volunteer. In addition to honey, we also sell organic garlic, herbs and berries (elderberries, currants, gooseberries and goji berries), and we grow lots of other fruits and vegetables as well as hay.”

FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING: YouTube. I watch all different types of videos – a good way to start the day!

The Castillo family: Nicolas (top left), Vernon, Amy and Alejandro

The Castillo family: Nicolas (top left), Vernon, Amy and Alejandro

ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES: The “Memory of Fire” trilogy by Eduardo Galeano. It looks at Latin America and the multitude of voices and faces that have shaped its history, and presents a history of conflict, resistance, injustice and oppression.


FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS: Jackson’s Garden; I especially enjoy the tranquility that comes from hearing the creek.

GO-TO BREAKFAST: Sausage, egg and cheese on a croissant

NETFLIX OR AMAZON: Netflix; can’t wait for season 2 of “The Witcher”

FAVORITE PODCAST: The Joe Rogan Experience, always interesting

ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD: Carpentry. I would like to be able to fix up our big, old Dutch barn.

LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU: I love watches and haute horology, and I almost chose watchmaking school instead of graduate school after returning from the Peace Corps.

BEST PART OF YOUR DAY: Going for a walk with my family