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Professor wins 2024 McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award

Antonio Castro

Antonio Castro, a professor of physics and engineering, was honored by the Board of Trustees on May 16 for winning the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award for excellence in teaching and outstanding commitment to quality education.

Castro also was honored at a reception hosted by the NVC Foundation earlier in the month, when he gave an “EDtalk,” titled “Pay Forward Teaching,” about integrating and teaching about what has been learned through academia, engineering experience and personal experience.

He told the audience that the combination helps provide student motivation, making the point through an engaging discussion that ranged from atoms and photons to light, glass, physics, engineering and AI.

“In 15 minutes time he had us thinking, he had us asking questions, we saw his passion, his love for his students and his belief in possibilities,” Dr. Priscilla Mora, assistant superintendent and vice president of academic affairs, told the Board of Trustees. “It was really profoundly moving.”

Castro is an educator and an electrical engineer. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from California State University Fullerton in 2000 and his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 2006. He has taught math, science and engineering courses in high school and college.

He has taught design and installation of photovoltaic systems in the United States and in Chile. As an engineer, he has experience designing and manufacturing electrical communications test equipment. He has worked with digital and analog circuit designs.

For Castro, teaching goes beyond the classroom. It includes engaging students outside the classroom with hands-on and motivating activities and doing outreach to local schools.

Antonio believes that a quality education is important as it allows individuals to best serve their community and society. He volunteers with local organizations to mentor and motivate students.

Castro also believes it is important to get students involved in student organizations and hands-on activities to engage and build a student and professional network, develop curiosity and find something they enjoy doing.

Castro was born in California and grew up in Mexico until the age of 13. He has been married to his wife Ana for over 20 years. They have two children, Alexandra and Antonio. He likes to spend time traveling with his family and enjoys reading and sharing what he learns.

The McPherson Award 

Napa Valley College awards the McPherson Distinguished Teaching Award annually to a faculty member who is nominated for the honor by their peers, students or community members for their commitment to excellence in education.  It is named after Napa Valley College Founding President Dr. Harry McPherson, who touched many lives with his vision, institutional leadership, support of scholarships and encouragement for individual students.

The awards are funded by the McPherson Endowment, established by Dr. McPherson and his family and now held by the Napa Valley College Foundation. 

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