Alumni Spotlight: Giselle Castillo

Alumni Spotlight: Giselle Castillo

This week’s spotlight is focused on Dr. Giselle Castillo. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Business Management and her MBA here at University of Phoenix. Following completion of her Ph.D. at Capella University, she has returned for active research within the Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research. She also leads the SoCal Alumni Chapter for University of Phoenix. 

Dr. Castillo is currently employed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) where she has served as an Immigration Services Officer (ISO) for two years.

She is currently working on four projects. The first is a study on “The Impact of Micromanagement on Workers: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study.” The second is “Emotional Intelligence and the non-management employee,” which is based on her dissertation. The third is “The Effect of Female Micromanagers on Male Workers: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study.” The last is “Higher Education Undermining and Shaming by Upper Management.”

In 2015, Dr. Castillo presented her dissertation study at the Lou Costello Jr. Recreation Center in Los Angeles, CA, to high school students interested in pursuing further education. She also presented the first two projects listed above at our Knowledge Without Boundaries Symposium this past July.

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We asked Dr. Castillo about her experience with doctoral and post-doctoral research thus far. Read on for her responses.

What was the defining moment that led to your decision to pursue your doctorate?

I decided to pursue my doctoral degree two years into my Bachelors program. At that time I was employed with AT&T and corporate downsizing rumors began to surface. I began to focus on pursuing my education and realized that without a background in Criminal Justice, I had to pursue my education in a broad discipline and chose to complete my Bachelor of Science in Business Management and then my MBA before beginning my doctoral studies.

What is the biggest lesson you learned from your doctoral journey?

There were many lessons learned during my doctoral journey. I learned so much about the way people behave, work, and think. How our organizations, government, and societies function. The experience was not only enlightening, but life-changing.

What was the defining moment that led to your decision to pursue this research?

There are two defining moments that led me to pursue such research. For the Micromanagement subject matter, I was approached by an employee in 1998 when I held a supervisory position. She was distraught by my leadership style and described me as “controlling.” It left such an impression on me that I have been pursuing and researching this topic since that unforgettable day.

In reference to the Higher Education undermining and shaming by Upper Management research, I have and continue to experience discrediting and discouraging remarks and treatment because of my academic status and believe that no one should feel embarrassed, humiliated, and/or undermined because they have chosen to invest in themselves academically.

What do you think the long term implications will be for the project results?

I am hopeful that all of my projects’ results will yield a better understanding of the topics at hand and how non-managerial employees can be successful without any ramifications, should they choose to remain in non-managerial positions throughout their professional careers.

What’s next for you?

My doctoral degree completion assisted me to obtain my professional objective; this was one of my optimal goals. Now that I am acclimated in my “dream job,” I am focusing on fostering and advocating higher education to my peers and fellow alumni through my volunteer work, as the President of our Southern California Alumni Chapter. I will continue to grow, develop and learn, not only indirectly from UOPX, but directly from each individual I work with. I have officially added “Life-long Learner” to my credentials.

I am very proud to say and emphasize that “We Rise,” and that “I am a Phoenix,” now and always!

What advice would you give to a prospective or current doctoral students?

You can do this! Perseverance is key. When in doubt, just know that you are not alone; you have invaluable support from the University, faculty, your peers, and alumni.

Thank you, Dr. Castillo, for being both a proponent and example of the value of higher education and meaningful research. We wish you the best of luck in your current and future efforts!