09 Jan Introducing Vivian Castelli

Name: Vivian Castelli

Where do you work and what is your title:

University of Connecticut, Financial Aid Officer

How did you end up in financial aid?

I had worked in various student service positions, and I was motivated to work as a Financial Aid Officer because I personally value education, and helping students meet their educational goals gives me a sense of purpose. So the counseling part of being an officer is exciting…Corny, but true!

What do you like about your job?

I enjoy the variety in the work, the endless supply of new information to be learned, the “crunching”–and the team that I work with.

What’s the most difficult aspect of your job?

Finishing anything. Is there such thing as complete??

What advice would you give to someone new?

Keep folders full of notes, how-to’s and why’s!! And don’t worry—eventually it will all make sense.

What was your program of study?

Organizational Management

What’s your favorite food?

Anything Mexican or Indian

Most exotic place you visited?

London, England

Favorite band/ type of music?

Well, right now my favorite artists are

  • Sheryl Crow
  • this African Band I just discovered
  • the Traveling Wilbury’s
  • I also love kirtan artists.


Favorite movie/ genre? Romantic comedy/Dramas

Favorite TV show? It was LOST, now I’m watching The Event—it’s pretty good.

What is the last book you read?

Pema Chodron’s …Start Where You Are.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

Definitely my grandfather; he was the most loving and kind man I’ve ever met. And he always encouraged me in my personal gifts.

Please tell us a little about your family. What do you do for fun?

I am spending time with my five year-old daughter Lily and partner Igor. Biking, Kayaking, Playground hopping.

Where do you like to go on your vacation and what do you like to do?

  • Montreal Canada
  • Vermont
  • The Cape—camping, kayaking, going to the beach, hiking good old site seeing, and we love to go to music festivals all summer!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?


If you won the lottery how would you spend your millions?

Traveling to oh so many places…and also taking classes and workshops in things that interest me. (art, yoga, music etc)

If you had the power, what would you change in the Financial Aid field?

I’d give more need based aid to families!!

Are you a morning or night person?

Morning. Crazy though b/c I used to be a night person. (Kids do all kinds of crazy things to us)

Are you a dog or cat person? DOG

What is your guilty pleasure?

Chocolate, of course. BROWNIES.

What is your favorite saying?

Current favorite quote is: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.~ Dalai Lama …