In a welcome email sent out to the CMC community on January 24, Dean Mary Spellman announced the return of David “Fid” Castro to Claremont McKenna College. Dean Castro—a CMC alum from the class of 1999—has taken on the role of Associate Dean, filling the Dean of First Year and Transfer Students position vacated by Dean Jennifer Marana at the close of last semester. According to a school-wide email from Dean Spellman in November, Dean Marana left the college to move to the East Coast with her family at the end of 2012.
Castro returns to Heggblade after a year away from campus; he worked as Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life at the College from 2002 to 2011.
Dean Castro left CMC in 2011 to earn his teaching credentials. “I’m interested in working in elementary schools where they need the help,” he told the Forum in May 2011. He will now remain at Claremont temporarily through the end of the current semester.
Castro said that he has “always loved CMC” and his colleagues in the Dean of Students office and that he is “excited to be back.” After graduating from CMC in 1999, he worked for a period with Jeff Huang, now CMC’s Vice President for Student Affairs, Admission & Financial Aid. After working with Huang, Castro moved on to brief stints at Oberlin College and Lewis and Clark College before returning to CMC for nine years of service in the Dean of Students office.
Incidentally, it was also Huang who later recruited Dean Eric Vos to replace Castro in the Residence Life position after Castro announced his intention to leave the college in 2011. Dean Vos, who still fills Castro’s previous Residence Life position, describes Castro as “a person who gave tireless service to CMC for nine years and has a fond connection to his alma mater.” Castro made himself available to Vos for consultation in Vos’s first year at CMC, and Vos looks forward to “consulting with him and learning from him throughout the spring semester.”
Assistant VP and Dean of Students Mary Spellman noted the fortuitous circumstances that allowed Dean Castro to return to the College: he was “at a point with his teacher credential program that he had the time” to fill the position. Already accustomed to the culture and working environment of CMC, his return “seemed like a perfect answer for everyone.” In his new role at CMC, Dean Castro will assist students with academic, social, and personal concerns, oversee Orientation planning for the semester, and provide general support for Dean of Students functions; the search for a new Associate Dean will begin this semester, and the College hopes to have a new dean by early this summer.