Mosaic Scholarship: Christopher Castro

Christopher Castro, who is pursuing a master’s degree in library and information science with a specialization in media archival studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is the 2021 recipient of the Mosaic Scholarship given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The $5,000 scholarship is given to a student who demonstrates potential for scholastic and personal achievement and who manifests a commitment both to the archival profession and to advancing diversity concerns within it.

In addition to a strong academic record, Castro has a passion for audiovisual preservation and community history. He previously interned at the Palo Alto City Library, where he was instrumental in training staff for and launching the library’s Vintage Media Lab. Currently, he is the audiovisual preservation specialist with the Palo Alto Historical Association, where he works with at-risk materials, and a library page with the Alameda County Library, where he is an active member of its Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee. A Filipino-American, he also served on the executive board of the Pilipino Transfer Student Partnership at UCLA.

Castro hopes to become a mentor to other aspiring archivists of color and to increase representation of people of color both within the profession and in traditional and community archival collections. He writes, “I believe that wider access to Filipino-American archival collections can actively recontextualize Filipinos' own sense of self and affirm their belonging within the American narrative.”

One of his supporters wrote: “From the very beginning, Castro’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the work set him apart from his predecessors.” Another celebrated “his keen awareness of social justice issues, wealth of knowledge, approachable nature, and passion to further diversity initiatives within the workplace.”

First awarded in 2009, the Mosaic Scholarship also provides recipients with a one-year membership in SAA and a complimentary registration to the SAA conference.