Dr. Helen M. Castillo, the new dean of the College of Health Sciences and Human Services at The University of Texas-Pan American, said she is looking forward to getting to know the faculty and staff at the university and members of the wider community.
"I'm scheduling meetings with the college's department chairs and program directors, and meeting every one of the faculty is something I want to do as soon as possible," Castillo said. "I'm very interested to hear about all the programs and the faculty's interests, concerns, and their vision for the program, so together we can make some decisions that will be of benefit to the various disciplines and to the college and the university."
She said she is very interested in hearing what the faculty members' research interests are and assisting in matching those interests to grant funding.
Castillo, who was appointed to the position last summer, started as dean earlier this month. She is the former chair of the nursing department at The University of Texas at El Paso, a position she had held since 1993.
She has done research on the educational needs of nurse administrators in the Southwest and the impact of the North American Free Trade Agreement on health care in the U.S. and Mexico. While at UT-El Paso, her research on NAFTA led to her holding an endowed professorship in the business college there.
"I'm very interested in hearing what faculty not only in this college but also in the College of Business Administration are doing in the area of NAFTA," Castillo said. "That, and health care, are my areas of interest. I will be continuing my research here along the border."
Castillo said she is also interested in working with people outside of the university.
"I'm interested in meeting with people in the community," she said. "I would like to get to know some of the people who are already friends of the university and perhaps develop other ties with the business and civic community. I see that there's a lot of interaction that takes place, and I would like to foster that as much as I can to encourage participation in university activities. That's a great interest of mine as well."
Prior to her appointment as chair of the department of nursing at UT-El Paso, 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 Ph.D. from New Mexico State University and a master of science in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin.
She is a member of the American College of Health Care Executives, the American Association of Nurse Executives, the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society for Nursing and the Texas Nurses Association, and she was elected to the American Academy of Nursing in 1995.