Veteran wins prestigious Man of the Year award
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 01:06
Student veteran, Saul Ugarte, 25, was recognized with the prestigious Man of the Year award at the Citrus College Annual Achievement Awards Ceremony on May 31 in the Ross L. Handy Campus Center.
The Man and Woman of the Year awards are granted to two chosen graduating students and are given a cash award of $250.
“The students are nominated by the faculty in March and are judged on student academic achievement, service to campus community and service to the community at large.” said Martha McDonald, Ed.D., dean of students.
“I feel pretty grateful for the opportunity of being nominated; it’s a pretty great honor,” said Ugarte, “I am just thankful.”
Ugarte first came to Citrus College in summer 2009 after serving four years in the military as an aircraft director.
“When I got started [at Citrus] I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t have a major yet and didn’t for my first two semesters but I took a few classes and figured it out,” said Ugarte.
With the support from his father, who is also his role model, and professors like Rick Nguyenhuu and Bruce Solheim Ugarte, he took an interest in his math and science classes which helped him decide what he wanted to major in and the career he wanted to have.
Ugarte made the President’s List back in 2010, which requires a 3.8 GPA and a minimum of six units completed during the semester to be recognized with at least 24 units completed at Citrus College.
“He is currently employed by the Citrus College Veteran Center as mentor and tutor helping other veterans with math, writing, chemistry and biology, and is serving as president at the Citrus College Veteran’s Network” said John Baker, Ph.D.
Ugarte is also the 2012-13 First Vice Commander with the American Legion Post #180 in Azusa, and he is also responsible for managing membership and recruitment.
He assists the community by serving his second term as chaplain there where he performs general ceremonial duties, assists with funeral services for veterans and visits members of the post who are sick or hospitalized.
In addition to all of his efforts with veterans, he has a 3.56 overall GPA, is a member of Phi Theta Kappa and has an Associate in Arts degree in social behavioral sciences and an Associate in Science degree in physical and biological science and mathematics.
He will be attending Cal Poly Pomona in the fall as a general engineering technology major specializing in production and manufacturing.
His plan is then to attend graduate school and focus on design maintenance repair and troubleshooting of production machines.
His career goal is, “to work on factory production machines,” Ugarte said.
He also has a life outside of all of his student and veteran responsibilities. Ugarte enjoys camping and hiking. Ugarte said that the military helped with all of the things he had to balance. With classes and serving fellow veterans he had a lot on his plate.
“I think the military kind of helped,” said Ugarte. “It could be a lot at times but everything worked out.”