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Sunday, December 10, 2023

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Sophia Cole Sophia Cole

Sophia Cole's Aztec Experience

This Aztec was the recipient of the SDSU BRIDGES Scholarship.
By SDSU News Team

Name: Sophia Cole
Major (and minor): Spanish major with an intended second major in linguistics, Honors minor in interdisciplinary studies
Campus affiliations: Aztec P.R.I.D.E.; Weber Honors College; Planned Parenthood Generation Action of SDSU

1. Why did you choose SDSU?
Before I had decided to attend SDSU, I had a personal meeting with the adviser from the Weber Honors College. I connected with both her and the interdisciplinary vision of the college, which opened my eyes to SDSU's academic offerings. The emphasis on study abroad at SDSU also appealed to me, as studying abroad is something that I've been dreaming of far before I even knew that I wanted to study Spanish. Of course, I had a strong attraction to the beauty and urban location of the campus, and I fell in love with what San Diego has to offer beyond the campus as a dynamic, diverse city.

2. What inspired you to declare your major?
I went to a bilingual immersion elementary school where my passion for language and education first began. I realized I should be a teacher when I started thinking critically about the strategies and styles that my teachers used, and about alternative ways in which I could engage different kinds of learners. I want to share the beauty and practicality of Spanish with others, as the language and cultures of Latin America are so tightly woven into California's identity. In addition to teaching Spanish, I want to teach English as a second language to students whose families come to California seeking educational and economic opportunity.

3. What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
During a lecture in world religions one day, Professor Lori Stewart brought up a quote from the Bible that I do not go a day without thinking about: "Let all that you do be done in love." My best friend gave me a little piece of art featuring that quote. That simple phrase reminds me every day to do good, be kind, and practice love towards myself and others.

4. What experience at SDSU has changed your life the most?
Becoming involved with Planned Parenthood Generation Action has allowed my leadership skills to grow, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and connected me to inspiring individuals who share my passion for reproductive justice. As the vice president of programming for this organization, I am learning to be more professional, organized, and confident in my own abilities. I have tackled tasks that make me nervous, like organizing an event and not knowing how many people will show up, phone-banking for politicians on behalf of Planned Parenthood, and addressing groups of people.

5. What has been your proudest achievement while at SDSU?
Last semester I had the fortune of being selected as a recipient of the SDSU BRIDGES Scholarship. It is my proudest achievement while at SDSU because of who is behind the scholarship selection and distribution. BRIDGES was founded by Susan K. Weber, the late wife of SDSU President Emeritus Stephen Weber. The women of BRIDGES are a dynamic and caring group, with careers ranging from academia to real estate. They are committed to "bridging" SDSU and the community. It means so much to me that this amazing group decided that I am a good investment, and someone whose growth they want to observe and nurture.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will be quietly making a difference in a public high school classroom somewhere in California, engaging my students by teaching through an interdisciplinary lens, incorporating relevant current issues, and taking my years of critically observing my own teachers to provide the best education that I can to my students. I'd like to live in an urban apartment close to my place of work and lead a sustainable lifestyle. I will probably still be taking the trolley to the farmer's market in Little Italy on Saturday mornings and going to Oscar's in Pacific Beach whenever possible. Ideally, I will be extremely healthy and an advanced yogi, but I will probably still have a weakness for milkshakes and a preference for yogic sleep above all other positions.

7. What’s your favorite thing about being an Aztec?
My favorite thing about being a student at SDSU is how many opportunities for personal and academic growth are available to me. Whether it's a Feminist Food for Thought lunchtime lecture at the Women's Resource Center or free statistics tutoring or a faculty member who is willing to proofread a paper for me, every day I encounter an opportunity to expand my perspective, learn, and be a better version of myself. It can be difficult to find the right opportunities but if you scan bulletin boards, subscribe to mailing lists, and follow different SDSU entities on social media, you will find how much our campus community has to offer.