New VISTAs Begin Service

April 10, 2020

Montana Campus Compact has recently welcomed two new VISTAs! At the beginning of March Cony Craighead and Siddarth Paladugu began their service. 

Cony Craighead is currently serving in Butte, Montana with the Montana College Attainment Network. The network supports and serves affiliate members in their work aiding all Montanans to achieve their higher education goals. These first few weeks have certainly proved unique, and have meant that Cony has spent most of her time getting to know her new organization remotely. 

Cony herself holds a BA degree in International Political Economics and Comparative World Religions from the University of Puget Sound. Already a life-long traveler, Cony pursued work that closely tied her love of exploration and her dedication to education. She has traveled to nearly every state with the Bureau of Education and Research; taught English as a foreign language in Kyrgyzstan; and spent her time in college as a specimen preparator in the Slater Museum of Natural History. Most recently, she served as the office manager and director’s assistant to the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Oklahoma. Having grown up in Missoula, she is looking forward to returning to her home state and working to help her fellow Montanan’s reach the academic goals they aspire to attain.

During his VISTA year, Sid is serving with Accelerate Montana, the University of Montana’s startup accelerator/incubator, in their Rural Innovation Initiative. This program supports entrepreneurship in rural/indigineous communities. Since beginning his service, he’s been working to move the Initiative’s operations fully online through implementation of CRM software, and has helped his team plan virtual trainings designed to assist rural/indigenous businesses in persisting through the COVID-19 pandemic. Sid grew up in Irvine, CA, and graduated with a dual-degree B.S/B.A in Business Administration and Economics from U.C. Berkeley. He enjoys reading, skateboarding, and indoor bouldering in his free time. Since moving to Missoula, he’s discovered he enjoys hiking quite a bit too.