With degrees in history, women’s studies, Latin American studies, and biology, Professor Castillo adds depth, versatility, and strength to the Gender and Women's Studies Program curriculum. That she is also an extraordinary teacher is evident in her commitment to continually develop and re-design her courses – engaging with colleagues in four May Seminars and through the University Teaching Project – and in the tributes she regularly receives from her students.
Students praise her ability to assign very difficult readings and then work through these complicated ideas with them, allowing them to play an active role in class discussions while guiding them to be better thinkers. Typical comments range from her first-year COLL 150 course, Gender, Violence, and Social Change ("Professor Castillo really taught us how to think critically as well as become even stronger writers, evaluate articles, and analyze biases") to her upper-level seminar in Feminist Theory ("there is no right or wrong answer as long as you can defend why you think something is the answer. I really enjoyed this critical thinking opportunity").
For her many contributions, it is fitting that she now be recognized with the Arts & Sciences 2017 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.