Deans selected for College of Education, College of Health Sciences & Human Services
Contact: (956) 381-2741
Posted: 09/21/1997
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The University of Texas-Pan American has appointed two new deans - Dr. Hilda Medrano for the College of Education and Dr. Helen M. Castillo for the College of Health Sciences and Human Services.

Medrano, who served as interim dean of the College of Education, took over as permanent dean effective Sept. 1. Castillo, professor and chair of the Department of Nursing at UT-El Paso, will take her new position Jan. 1, 1998.

"Dr. Medrano has strong support from the faculty and staff of the College of Education," said Dr. Rudolph Gomez, vice president for academic affairs at the time of the appointments. "She brings a tremendous amount of experience to the position. She has served as acting chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and has been acting dean of the college for two years.

"She was the driving force behind the move to bring the South Texas Center for Professional Development and Technology to campus, and was also instrumental in moving the doctoral program (in educational administration) from phase one to phase two, and is well on the way to moving it from phase two to phase three, which is free-standing status."

Gomez said Castillo, the new dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, comes highly recommended from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at UT-El Paso.

"Dr. Castillo apparently has earned the respect of all with whom she has worked," he said. "She comes to us from the chair of the nursing department at UT-El Paso, which has a faculty of some 55 and a full range of programs from the baccalaureate to master's level specialties. She has had long experience in working with The University of Texas System and is familiar with its procedures.

"She has a lot of networking experience all along the Texas-Mexico border from El Paso to Brownsville," Gomez said."She has worked with the UT System Texas-Mexico Border Health Coordination Office and has knowledge of the importance of health care programs at UT Pan American."

Castillo has been chair of the UT-El Paso nursing department since 1993. Prior to that, she was director of UT-El Paso's nursing administration specialty, and she also served in that capacity at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She has 20 years' experience as a nursing faculty member and another 14 years of hospital supervisory experience.

Castillo holds a PhD from New Mexico State University and a master of science in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin.

Castillo was elected to the American Academy of Nursing in 1995 and has done research on the educational needs of nurse administrators in the Southwest and the impact of NAFTA on health care in the U.S. and Mexico.

Medrano has been a faculty member at UT Pan American since 1986, and she was also a faculty member at Pan American University at Brownsville, now UT Brownsville, for seven years. She served for three years as a consultant for the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg, one year as a public school administrator, and three years in public school teaching at the Point Isabel Independent School District.

She received her PhD from UT Austin and her master of education from Pan American University.

She is currently the director of the South Texas Center for Professional Development and Technology at UT Pan American, which is a collaborative effort of the university, South Texas Community College and the public schools to restructure teacher preparation in a field-based program and to prepare students to integrate new technology into teaching. She has also served as director of the university-wide Project Title III Strengthening Institutions and as acting chair for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She has been interim dean of the College of Education since 1995.