After serving as a dean for the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) for about six years, Helen Castillo will step down in August 2008 to pursue her interests in research, teaching and writing.
The move, Castillo said, is “more like stepping out and not down.” Although she is leaving her post as a dean she’ll continue to lecture and work at CSUN.
“It’s a lateral move in a different direction,” Castillo said.
Being a dean is often challenging, Castillo said. The position entails administrative duties, assistance in curriculum development, oversight of the budget and fundraising, she said. All this leaves little time for other things like research.
Once she “steps out,” Castillo said she plans to finish her book on the bi-national history of medicine and nursing in the Texas-Mexico border region. As a Texas native and a nursing professional, the history of the region is interesting because she explained, most books on the history of nursing are based on the European tradition and mainly focus on the East coast.
Castillo added that her interest in international affairs also stems from the research she has conducted in Chile and Mexico on the effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement on the health care systems there.
Besides finishing the book, Castillo said her other priority is to implement a number of new programs such as a clinical doctoral program in physical therapy.
At this time, Castillo said, she doesn’t know who’ll step in to take her place as the dean of the college.
“There will be a national search conducted through the provost’s office and the president’s office,” Castillo explained. “I will assist in the orientation.”
The College of Health and Human Development has grown by 76 percent in undergraduate enrollment since Castillo became the dean in 2002, the Institutional Research enrollment report shows. She said her inspiration for this demanding job still comes from supportive department chairs, staff and faculty.
“It’s a matter of working together,” Castillo said. “Even when facing budget challenges, we overcame them. Our fund raising has been very successful.”
There is no need to slow down after she steps down either, Castillo said. The college is moving ahead and “there is a plan for continuity.”
“We have moved toward health and wellness, which is the way of the future,” she added.
Dr. Craig Finney, chair for the department of Recreation and Tourism Management, said he will miss Castillo.
“There is some disappointment that she is leaving,” he said. “She has been very equitable and supportive of our department. That is something I can appreciate as a chair.”
Finney explained that Castillo has helped the department by taking time to resolve challenges and by providing resources for different initiatives.
“She is very gracious about it,” he said.
Professor of kinesiology Steven Loy, who has been with the department for 21 years, said Castillo has done a good job and managed the expansion of the college well.
“Whoever is coming has their work cut out for them,” he said.
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