The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Susan Castillo Oral History Interview. June 17, 2014

Susan Castillo Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Janice Dilg.

June 17, 2014

Location:  Castillo residence, Eugene, Oregon.

Susan Castillo (b. 1951) graduated from OSU in 1981, having returned to school at the urging of OSU's Affirmative Action Director, Pearl Spears Gray, for whom Castillo worked as a secretary. A Communications major, Castillo found employment as a news reporter with KVAL-TV Eugene, and her coverage of the Oregon legislature sparked her interest in running for office. In 1997 Castillo was elected to the state Senate, and in the process became the first Hispanic woman to occupy an office in the state's legislature. From 2003-2012, she also served as Superintendent of Public Instruction in the Oregon Department of Education, where she advocated for students of color and low-income families, among many other initiatives. Her interview focuses on her student experience at OSU and the arc of her career in journalism and politics.