Alum Castillo named Salem State University’s first assistant vice president for HSI and MSI initiatives

UW–Madison alumna Elisa Castillo will be the first to fill a new senior-level role created by Salem State University to prepare the university to better serve students of color. 


Castillo has been named assistant vice president of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution (MSI) initiatives, a role she will assume in July 2023.

Castillo is an alumna of the School of Education, having earned a master’s in 1995 and a PhD in 2002 from the Department of Counseling Psychology.

“The education, mentorship, and hands-on experience I received as a master’s and doctoral student in counseling psychology prepared me to lead and to serve my community,” Castillo says of her time at UW–Madison. “I am so grateful to my faculty, peers, and supervisors in the School of Education for giving me a strong foundation, and the confidence to follow my passion and potential.”

According to an April 6 news release from Salem State University, Castillo has served with that institution’s student life division for nearly two decades. In her most recent role as associate dean of students for wellness, Castillo co-led the campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic, expanded student access to mental health services, and added counseling staff dedicated to serving BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students. 

She also has added student programming and resources that promote sexual health and wellness, and that address trauma, relationship violence, and campus hunger.

“When we make things better for a group that has been historically underserved, we also make them better for everyone else,” Castillo said in the news release. “I’m honored to help Salem State grow its capacity to serve the students of today and tomorrow, and to center that conversation on our growing intersectional Hispanic, Latinx, and BIPOC student population.”

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