Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Dr. Yvonne Castillo

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Dr. Yvonne Castillo

Leading by Example

Dr. Yvonne Castillo challenges her counseling students to prepare research and present at conferences, become active voices and participants in their communities, and stay on top of current research. It’s all part of her philosophy to lead by example and bring out the best in her students.

“For me, it is most rewarding to see a student succeed,” said Castillo, a second year visiting professor in the Department of Counseling and Education. “I do my best to motivate and encourage my students, especially when they feel fear and anxiety.”

Castillo, who received her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, is vice-chair of the Coastal Bend Coalition Against Modern Day Slavery. The coalition’s first meeting was held in January 2011, and since that time, she has sought out educational opportunities on the topic. In January 2012, she worked to host a summit to bring together state Rep. Todd Hunter, children at risk, law enforcement, NGOs, nurses, and other officials to discuss human trafficking issues. There are now plans to open a safe house to restore traumatized victims through counseling and living skills.

“This problem exists locally and it’s not spoken about much,” she says. “It is something that we need to be fighting.”

She is working toward certification in EMDR (eye movement desensitization reprocessing), a technique used to work with thoughts, feelings, and body sensations associated with disturbing events or trauma that can get locked in the nervous system.

Castillo is faculty advisor of the American Association of Christian Counselors-Texas A&M-Corpus Christi student chapter and treasurer of the Coastal Bend Healthy Marriage Coalition, helping individuals, couples, and families through private counseling sessions. She has taught high school sciences and Spanish in area schools, and this Maymester, will assist the Department of Curriculum and Instruction with a Study Abroad program in Costa Rica.
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