2011 Sol Awardees

Dr. Peter Barbosa was raised in Añasco, Puerto Rico. He is an accomplished educator, scientist, filmmaker, and social activist. Dr. Barbosa earned his B.S. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University and holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. His first postdoctoral fellowship was completed in HIV research at the Institut Pasteur in Paris. Following his relocation to San Francisco, he worked as a scientist and immunology professor, specializing in HIV and AIDS.

Daniel Castellanos initiated his career in public health as a community liaison for the Hispanic AIDS Forum in 1995. A year later, he founded and chaired the Colombian Lesbian and Gay Association (COLEGA), a social organization that provided a voice to Colombian immigrants living in NYC as well as support to other LGBT organizations in his native country Colombia. As founder, board president, and former director of Queens Pride House (QPH), an LGBT community center in Queens County established in 1997, Daniel strongly advocated for developing and implementing community health through committed partnering with community leaders, public health officials, and academia.

George Fesser learned early on about dedicating himself to bettering the lives of others. At 19 years old and just out of high school in Miami, George joined the Missionary group “Amor en Accion” and went on missions to Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Guatemala, helping the poorest of the poor. This is also the time when he came to grips with being gay and learned that he was HIV-positive.  Being honest and authentic with his fellow missionaries and family members about his status cost him his membership in this Catholic organization, and caused a break between George and his father which continues until today. This was his first stark experience with homophobia and bias against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities and those living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. 

Carlos N. Molina was born and raised in Mayaguez , PR.  He graduated with honors from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, affectionally known as El Colegio.  He worked as a Software Engineer in Los Angeles and South Korea., before studying fashion design in Paris, France.  He moved to New York City in 1993 in the midst on the AIDS epidemic, and immediately started working with the Latino community, which he has served through a multitude of roles.