Degree: Master of Science in Marketing
College/School: College of Business
Aileen Solá’s older sister – a gifted artist and her guiding star–died in childbirth when Aileen was 19, leaving behind a daughter, Gabby. Aileen’s parents have raised Gabby, who is learning disabled, as their daughter.
Treasuring the memory of the passion for art they shared, Aileen left her native Puerto Rico to attend the Columbus College of Art and Design, earning a degree in graphic arts. After several corporate and agency jobs, in 2002 she came to FIU, rising to the position of director of design services.
Aileen sees each of the projects her FIU team develops as an opportunity to tell an important story. Her design vision guided the revival of the award-winning FIU Magazine.
In 2011, Aileen gave birth to triplets – Alejandra, Nicholas and Paola. During her pregnancy, Aileen suffered from preeclampsia, the condition that killed her sister. Her premature daughters are on the autism spectrum and have learning delays. As she openly shares their struggles and triumphs, she hopes to inspire and support other parents whose children face challenges.
With a full plate at work and home, Aileen continued to challenge herself to grow professionally, through FIU leadership programs and the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Miami. Last year, with the support of her husband, she took on the accelerated Master of Marketing program.
Ten months later, as part of a group that helped raise $40,000 for Lotus House, Aileen is graduating. She credits her fellow students for their support. In her professional and personal life, she lives by a simple philosophy: Move forward. Go one step at a time, one day at a time, and slowly but surely, you can accomplish anything.
By Ellen Forman
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, College of Business