Dr. Castillo has been a practicing occupational therapist since 1991. During her career, she worked in settings including acute care and rehabilitation hospitals, outpatient adult and pediatric clinics, long term care, and a rural school district. She started the first occupational therapy services program at the El Paso VA. She began teaching as an adjunct instructor in 1997 and entered academia full time in 2010 as an OT Fieldwork Coordinator. She has served as a Program Director in both entry level OT and OTA programs.
Dahlia’s service activities include the Accreditation Council of Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), serving on the council from 2006-2012, and on the roster accreditation evaluators 2000-2018. She has served as the Chair of a multicultural professional network: Terapistas Occupacionales para Diversidad, Oportunidad, y Soladaridad (TODOS) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) since 2014. She served on the Texas Occupational Therapy Association (TOTA) Board in various capacities and is the current committee chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Since 2007, she has offered pro-bono occupational therapy services in an underserved clinic in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She was instrumental in establishing an occupational therapy student program and has accompanied over 60 OT and OTA students there as part of their training as students.