When Pedro Castro got hired in 2014 as a graduate student assistant working as former Dean Cyrus Parker-Jeanette’s receptionist, he had little idea where it would lead. He simply saw it as a chance to work part time while getting his master’s degree in educational technology and media leadership.
Six years later, Castro has made the most of that opportunity. He now serves as the College of the Arts information specialist, coordinating the curriculum, scholarships and academic schedules. He also handles lecturers’ evaluations, Academic Senate committee and council election meetings, and assists the special tasks and enrollment needs of Interim Dean Margaret Black and Interim Associate Dean Lorin Johnson.
His strong work ethic and commitment to the Beach hasn’t gone unnoticed. Castro was recently honored with the 2020 Outstanding Staff Member Award, given annually to the staff person who goes beyond service on the job and has made significant contributions of time and/or talents to the university.
“It means a lot to know that my colleagues recognize and appreciate my diligence and work ethic,” said Castro, who graduated with his master’s in 2016. “Any award comes with great responsibility to serve as an ambassador of the university and to lead by example with my continuous dedicated work. It also means to be proud of being part of Long Beach State.”
President Jane Close Conoley praised Castro’s enthusiasm for the job.
“In his role at the College of the Arts, Pedro’s hard work and positive attitude are highly valued by his teammates, COTA students and our campus as a whole,” Conoley said. “He embodies the OneBeach spirit with his dedication, professionalism, effectiveness and collegiality.”
Castro said he hopes to continue to advance within the CSU system and fulfill his goal of becoming an English as a Second Language advisor and teacher. Born and raised in Mexico City, he said he was an ESL learner during school.
“I witnessed the struggle of people like me trying to learn English at a late age,” he said. “I am currently enrolled in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Graduate Certificate here on campus.
“My goal is to continue working on campus and be able to teach English to adult speakers of other languages after work or during the weekends.
“It is time for me to give back to the community who helped shape who I am now.”