Dr Ramon Del CastilloChicano Studies
Rectory, room #104
Personal Biography Statement
I am a Full Professor and Chair of the Chicana/o Studies Department. My teaching career began in the Sociology Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver in 1984. I transfered into Chicana/o Studies in 1995. I am the past Chair of the Masters Program in Nonprofit Program at Regis University (1999-2005).
I possess a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a double major in Sociology and Mexican American Studies from the University of Northern Colorado. My Master's Degrees are in Social Science and Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. My Ph.D. is from the Graduate School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado at Denver. My doctoral dissertation, using the theory of innovation, examined Curanderismo, a traditional approach to holistic and spiritual healing and its institutionalization within a publicly funded mental health agency.
I am an activist scholar with professional experience in the fields of mental health, community/economic development and education. I have written and recited poetry for 4 decades at many venues locally, statewide and nationally. As a lifetime student, I am currently studying the congas and percussion instruments. Shooting pool is one of my hobbies.
My professional history includes past mental health administrator for the Mental Health Corporation of Denver including Centro de las Familias, a specialty clinic that achieved national recognition for its culturally competent/responsive services and program. This included Curanderismo, an indigenous holistic approach to healing. While a Coordinator of curriculum at Rocky Mountain Denver SER Head Start, I facilitated the development of a culturally competent curriculum entitled, “El Espejo (The Mirror” that is currently being used. As a Head Start national consultant, I provided technical assistance in the areas of organizational development and cultural competency/responsiveness, conflict resolution, education reform and strategic planning.
My professional publications include: "Curanderismo as Decolonization Therapy: The Acceptance of Mestizaje as a Remedio" (2103 in process); "Institutionalizing Curanderismo in Colorado's Community Mental Health System," in "Enduring Legacies: Ethnic Histories and Cultures of Colorado" (2011); "Institutionalizing Curanderismo into a Mainstream Healing System: Boundary Spanners and Innovation in Action,” in Hispanics in the Southwest: Issues of Education, Immigration, Health, and Public Policy (2011; and "The Life History of Diana Velazquez: La Curandera Total," in La Gente: Hispano History and Life in Colorado (1998).
Students are not empty vessals, walking into classrooms, ready to be filled with knowledge; they are human beings seeking approaches to become fully humanized. Students entering my educational domain are encouraged to share their experience with their peers; therefore, they possess knowledge by virtue of living life. Through the creation of gracious space in the classroom, students feel comfortable sharing as they become teachers and learners. I respect each student's knowledge base and provide an educational ambiance that promotes effective dialogue for anyone entering this sacred space. Students become active participants in creating knowledge in my classrooms. As a life-long learner who loves teaching and learning, I challenge students to engage in courageous conversations about the many issues in our society so that together we can create a better world. "Social Justice and Activism in the Chicana/o Community," is part of the Honor's Program.
I recently finished facilitating a process dealing with education reform in Northwest Denver, with 65 other citizens. The overall findings and recommendations were presented to the Denver Board of Education. A follow up monitoring process is being established. I was also selected to the Denver Public School's Mill Levy Committee, designed to make recommendations for the expenditure of 40 million taxpayer dollars.
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