College of Social Sciences
Why did you choose your major?
I chose Political Science because I have always been fascinated with politics and government. When I transferred to San Jose State University the professors in the Political Science Department were so great and the classes were so much fun, that it was an easy decision to stick with the major.
What does receiving this particular award mean to you?
Like everyone else who has ever been awarded the Presidents or Dean’s scholar … it is a remarkable feeling as well as an honor. Being recognized for the hard work I put in day-in and day-out is wonderful, it is great that this University recognizes those of us who work so hard.
Who has been instrumental in your life and/or who has contributed to your academic success?
I really would not be here at SJSU if it were not for my amazing and supportive wife,
Jessica. She works hard everyday to make sure I am able to give the right amount of
dedication and finish my education.
The professors have also contributed to my academic success, because as I have transitioned back into the college life after nearly eight-years, they have made themselves available before and after class as well as in their office to answer or assist me with any question that I have ever had.
Did you overcome any hardships or adversities during your life, that has helped shape who you are today? And if so, could you please briefly elaborate?
I attempted a different career path when I was younger, and it did not work out. Having to get up, brush myself off, get my head straight, and finish my college education was very important to me. I also wanted to make sure that when I came back to college, I took my education serious since I would be paying for it.
What would you say to other students to encourage or inspire them to attain academic excellence?
The thing I would say, is something my parents always used to tell me when I was young and wanted too just squeak by, the harder you work now, the more fun you will have later. If I had taken my education more serious when I was just out of high school, I would already be in a great place with much more opportunities.
Where would you like to be in 5-10 years?
Hopefully in 5 to 10 years I will be working in politics; my goal is to be at the Capital in Sacramento or working at a political consulting firm.
A few words from his nominating professor:
“Sol is a self-supporting student who works fulltime as a conductor on the ACE train.
This is a very responsible position, as he is in charge of the train and all its workers
and passengers. He lives in Stockton, CA with his wife who is a teacher and their
new (December 2012) baby daughter, Ava. He works on the train as it comes from Stockton
early in the morning to San Jose each day. During his daily layover he attends classes
at SJSU, then leaves in time to work on the train as it goes back to Stockton. In
addition to working fulltime, being a husband and father, Sol is also the president
of the Political Science Honors Society, Pi Sigma Alpha. He has rallied that organization
by going to undergraduate POLS classes this fall and recruiting new members. He then
organized a presidential debate-viewing event for all POLS and MPA students at the
Hilton Hotel in October, taking the day off to be present, which was attended by over
100 students, faculty, alumni and locally elected officials. He has worked collegially
with the MPA Student Association leadership to create the 2013 Convocation for our
department. He is an outstanding scholar and student leader.”