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Undergraduate Studies Welcomes Erin L. Castro, PhD as the Associate Dean for Student Access and Communities Engagement

Headshot of Erin Castro

Dr. Castro is an associate professor of Higher Education at the University of Utah and Co-Founder/Director of the University of Utah Prison Education Project, an on-site initiative providing college coursework and programming to adults at the Utah State Prison in Draper. She directs the Research Collaborative on Higher Education in Prison where she is involved a number of projects, including: federal Pell grant restoration for incarcerated people, criminal and disciplinary history questions in college admissions, the national directory of higher education in prison programs, and myriad issues related to data collection and equity in prison higher education. She was a strategic organizing member of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison (launched 2016) and served as part of the Re-Entry and Education Advisory Committee for the Lumina Foundation from 2019-2020. She is a founding executive editor for the Journal of Higher Education in Prison (launched 2020) and her work has been published in journals such as Harvard Educational Review and Journal of College Student Development. She is the recipient of the Early Career Teaching Award (2017) and the Beacons of Excellence Award (2019) at the University of Utah. Dr. Castro routinely teaches and learns inside prisons and affectionately holds the title of Mamá for a tiny human named Emilio.

“I am excited to join a team with an impressive history of innovation and leadership at the university, in our communities, and in our state,” says Dr. Castro. “I look forward to building alongside colleagues – and future colleagues – in our commitments to equity and access.”

“Dr. Castro joins the office of Undergraduate Studies during a period of invigorating transformation,” said Dr. T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of Undergraduate Studies. “She brings a depth of knowledge and expertise that align with critical priorities of today’s institutions of higher education. She is a collaborative leader with a strong commitment to educational equity across a diverse range of student populations. We look forward to incorporating her vision and dedication to ensuring the success of every student at the U.”

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Last Updated: 12/12/23