Among his accomplishments, Castro co-chaired the academic outreach task force, a subcommittee of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Academic Diversity (CACAD). The group conducted an inventory of campus academic outreach programs and issued a report with several recommendations, including the establishment of a UCSF outreach office to coordinate existing and initiate new programs. As a result of this collaborative project, campus diversity directors continue to meet and work together on outreach efforts, including hosting "Inside UCSF," a program that brings disadvantaged undergraduate students with an interest in health careers to UCSF.
Castro is now co-leading another subcommittee of the CACAD that will review reports from students, faculty and staff over the years that call boosting efforts to advance diversity, including creating a center for diversity and outreach. The group will analyze other relevant data, such as best practices at other universities, to develop a single proposal with recommendations for the Chancellor in spring 2010. Castro also works to improve the recruitment, advancement and retention of students at UCSF. He helps students to attend conferences and participate in outreach efforts at national meetings and works to increase student support – financially, socially and academically. Castro is a great role model and mentor who is readily available to students, speaking at numerous events about his own inspirational life story of being raised by a single mother in the Central Valley. The students respond to his message of hope and encouragement.
In addition, Castro strengthened the partnership between UCSF and San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD), a critical part of UCSF's community service. Working with faculty, staff and students throughout the campus, Castro formally launched a new partnership with SFUSD aimed a bringing UCSF's expertise in science education, college readiness and clinical services to four needy schools in the southeast sector of San Francisco. By strengthening this partnership, UCSF will be building a pipeline to increase the diversity of the next generation of health care professionals and will expand access to care in underserved communities.
Castro is also an advocate for promoting racial and ethnic diversity outside UCSF. He speaks publicly at local and national events on the topic of supporting the educational mission and addressing the most pressing issues of our time. Castro was the keynote speaker at the 2008-2009 UC Berkeley Chancellor's award ceremony celebrating and acknowledging the importance of scholarly work that honors racial and ethnic diversity. In September 2009, he presented at the Nationally Elected and Appointed Latino Officers conference in Washington, DC on strategies for increasing Latinos in higher education.
Castro is credited with promoting and advancing the hiring of underrepresented groups to Student Academic Affairs. Since his arrival at UCSF, he has hired eight persons of color and/or women to fill leadership positions in his cabinet made up of 15 direct reports.