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Castillo retires after 35-year career at ASU

January 11, 2008

After guiding thousands of graduating students to their first professional jobs throughout the duration of his career, Ray Castillo, director of Career Services, plans to retire, culminating a 35-year career that started and ended at ASU.

“Ray is the consummate institutional officer – deeply dedicated to the university, committed in his work with faculty and staff and driven by his desire to serve students,” says James Rund, vice president of University Student Initiatives. “His leadership of Career Services has been exceptional and will have a positive impact on students well into the future. He will be very difficult to replace.”

Castillo’s plan over the next several years is certain to keep him busy.

“I plan on devoting more time to my family and my grandchildren and to also do a bit of traveling,” Castillo says when asked about his plans.

Castillo is a lifelong Sun Devil, having started his career here after graduating from ASU with his bachelor’s degree. He then completed his master’s degree at ASU and held several positions at both Career Services and the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education, working his way up from career specialist to assistant director, associate director and finally as director. Aside from a five-year stint at California State University–Fresno, he spent his entire career at ASU.

Since his return to ASU in 1994, Castillo led Career Services as director and has seen the scope of services offered and recruiting events such as Career Fiesta grow and evolve dramatically.

He prides himself on his and his staff’s efforts in developing a Web-based system for job postings, which led to winning the Governor’s Recognition Award. Additionally, Sun Devil Career Link was developed and implemented during his tenure, and has served thousands of students and thousand of employers since its inception in 2002.

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity at ASU to administer a centralized career placement service for one of the nation’s largest universities. Students, employers and recruiters are offered technology with the functionality and ease of Sun Devil Career Link, and that has ultimately been successful,” Castillo says.

Beyond the more serious accomplishments, his career has not been without some offbeat moments.

“While I was responsible for part-time student employment, I encountered the most unusual job description I have ever written – for a scorpion milker. A faculty member was seeking students to go out to the Salt River bed, flip over rocks and bring scorpions back to him so he could milk them for venom,” Castillo says.

His transition toward retirement is bittersweet, but overall he is fond of his unique experience and the roles he has held at ASU.

“To be able to see the university in different capacities as a student, staff member and to later come back as an administrator and see the growth and transformation of ASU has been so great,” he says.

A retirement party in Castillo’s honor will take place Jan. 16.