By: Annette Quijada
East Los Angeles College President Alberto Román was featured in ELAC’s 4th Annual Political Science Career Fair on Thursday.
Román said majoring in political science helped him decide on working in educational administration rather than as an immigration attorney.
Faculty involved in the fair included ELAC political science professors Dr. Kenneth Chaiprasert, Rogelio Garcia and Jeffrey Hernandez.
Román said his choice to major in political science goes back to his lived experiences as an immigrant and a first generation college graduate. “In my high school years I began to see the social and political climate shaped by people in power didn’t favor people of color,” Román said.
After realizing this, he began soul searching and identifying his core values and principles. Román said once he got into college and started taking classes in American government, political theory, international relations, etc. He became intrigued by the government structure and its formation over the years.
In his fourth year as a college student, Román got the opportunity to do an internship with an elected official, congressman George Brown. Román said working with a congressman was one of the best decisions he’s made. Working for a congressman allowed him to do “case work ” and work with Homeland Security to help constituents who were filing for citizenship and residency. Being able to assist residents who needed immigration support. Román said he felt as if he found his reason, his “why,” “What I love about Political Science is it’s very versatile. It prepares you to go into so many different careers like preparing for a law degree or working for an elected official,” Román said.
A few years later Román decided to run for city council in the city of Rialto and lost by about 399 votes. He said this experience taught him that he wanted to stay in public service because he was giving back to his community.
Román said having his political science degree gave him the foundation to be where he is today.
Professor Chaiprasert said students who get political experience after their bachelor’s degree and knowing about the policy-making process plays a large role when it comes to serving the community or serving a college campus like Román.
Román said local officials are constantly looking for students to get into their internships. Román said ELAC is currently working towards developing an internship to send students to work in the Sacramento Senate committee.