Rose State's Professor Castillo Receives 2017 Oklahoma Medal for Excellence Award Published March 22, 2017 by Tamara Pratt

Toni Castillo with student in reading lab

MIDWEST CITY – The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence selects Rose State Professor Antoinette Castillo, professor of humanities, to receive the 2017 Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Regional University/Community College teaching.

Castillo teaches courses in writing composition and philosophy at Rose State while also administering the college’s writing program.

“Most students come to community colleges wanting to gain a greater degree of economic freedom by learning skills to get a better job,” said Castillo. “My mission is to help them gain economic freedom, but ultimately it is to help them gain much more, much great freedom: the freedom that comes from knowledge and ideas.”

Castillo’s commitment to students is evident across the campus, where she volunteers to advise and mentor many student populations, from first-generation and honors students to those with physical or learning disabilities. She is co-founder and volunteer for CLICK (Community Learning in Critical Knowledge) Team, which provides faculty mentoring and academic support for at-risk students. In addition, Castillo collaborated with English faculty members and departments across campus to re-design Rose State’s writing instruction and develop on-line writing course materials to help students save money on textbooks.

“Professor Castillo has a servant’s heart and a scholar’s mind,” said Rose State College Humanities Dean Claudia Buckmaster. “She is driven to help our students find success regardless of impediments created by their backgrounds or circumstances.”

Castillo will receive her honor along with four other recipients from other categories at the foundation’s 31st annual Academic Award Banquet on May 20th in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Each winner receives a $5,000 cash prize and “Roots and Wings” glass sculpture.

Since 1985, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence has presented close to $4 million in cash award to honor outstanding educators and public school students.