Hilda Solis, alumna and former U.S Secretary of Labor, has taken a position at Cal Poly Pomona as a scholar in residence.
As scholar in residence, Solis will be able to guest lecture in classes, work with faculty and council students. Associate Dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences Daniel Lewis said that Solis will have a lot of freedom on campus to do many different things pertaining to academia.
Solis was on campus in late November, and will officially start her position as scholar in residence during the winter quarter.
Lewis said that Solis will shed light on services for students that they might not know about such as internships, abroad programs and employment both on and off-campus.
“As scholar in residence, Solis can take her time and experience to students and faculty on-campus,” said Lewis. “We hope that she’ll be working with students and bringing people she knows to campus to help this [college] community.”
Solis grew up close to campus in the city of La Puente and attended college at CPP. During her time as a student at CPP, she worked as a student assistant recruiter in the Educational Opportunity Program and was a summer orientation leader. In 1979, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science and soon after attended USC, where she earned a master’s of Public Administration.
During her career, Solis served in Jimmy Carter’s White House in the Office of Hispanic Affairs. She also served in Office of Hispanic Affairs where she focused on issues such as domestic violence, environmental safety and higher education.
After being nominated in 2008 as the next secretary of Labor by President-elect Obama, she became the first Latina to serve in a Cabinet-level post.
Lewis said that throughout Solis’ career, she continued to stay close to the CPP community and knows how the school works.
“She never really left Cal Poly Pomona behind,” said Lewis. “She can enhance, add and participate in the things she sees fit and ties in with the departments she’s associated with.”
Because of her experience and history with CPP, Solis has been brought back to campus to do almost anything and will be working closely with the Ethnic and Women’s Study and Political Science Department.
Lewis said that he hopes Solis can help be the connection for students to opportunities on and off campus as well as help people off campus to better understand what goes on in CPP campus.
Accordong to CPP spokesman, Daniel B. Lee, Solis will stay at CPP on contract that will run through the end of the 2013-14 academic year with an option to be renewed.