By Sam Huntington, junior, U.S. history major, President of the Presidential Honors Society and a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the History Department's Honor Society and an organizer for Americans for Informed Democracy.
I first met Kim Shalvey when we were both volunteers at a University at Albany event, telling incoming prospective freshman students about our experiences at the university. We both came to UAlbany in Fall of 2001, and although our paths had crossed before, we had never really gotten to know each other. Kimís time at UAlbany left her with a sea of positive feelings and attitudes. Her main negative impression of the school is the shortage of left-handed desks. When I interviewed her for this profile, Kim Shalvey, in her own unique and refreshing way, revealed a lot about the very personality and heart of our University at Albany community.
Kim came to UAlbany from a high school with a relatively homogeneous population. First, she was impressed and pleased that she got to meet so many new people from incredibly diverse and unique backgrounds. Secondly, she said the comfort level on campus helped her make lasting friendships with all different sorts of people. Kim feels that it is an incredible asset to be able to connect and be comfortable with just about anyone. As she heads off to law school, Kim feels that is one of the greatest benefits she received here.
Kim originally intended to become a business major, but by her second semester she discovered an interest and passion for psychology and chose it as her major. She praises the faculty with whom she has made strong connections, and the program itself. Kimís minor became criminal justice, and she holds that department in the same regard as the psychology program. Kim attributes her discoveries of those things she was most interested in, in part to the University at Albanyís General Education program, which let her pursue all kinds of coursework and really diversified her day to day classes. Courses that focus on art history, the Holocaust, the civil rights movement, and other topics were all incorporated into her schedule and impacted her life, shaped her education, and rounded out her studies. Also, Kim had somewhat of a jumpstart on her college career because of the number of AP courses she took in high school that were accepted by the University. As a result she is graduating two semesters early, receiving her Bachelorís degree in three instead of four years.
The only thing Kim regrets about the three instead of four-year program is that she did not take advantage of the schoolís study abroad program. However, because of her academic successes, Kim has been granted a full scholarship to St. Johnís Law School and will be attending in the fall. When I asked her about how well prepared she felt for this next task, Kim said she felt a bit nervous, but expressed confidence that her academic course work at UAlbany prepared her well. She also felt that her other non-academic experiences here have given her direction and will be an equally important advantage in the future.
Beyond academics, Kim has been remarkably involved on campus for the past three years. Kim regards her commitment and participation in a number of UAlbany volunteer work opportunities as her most fulfilling experiences, particularly through the on-campus peer counseling program, Middle Earth. By helping fellow students, Kim found a niche doing something she enjoys. She also has a job on campus as a University tour guide, offering her own perspectives on the school to incoming students, and that is another opportunity she has prized. Furthermore, just as she has benefited from her service, the school has benefited as well and the campus is a better place because of it. Kimís college career has been one of involvement, with campus groups, friends, and her academics, and the vast opportunities for all of those types of involvement is something she cherishes and finds comforting about the UAlbany community. Her academic accomplishments and her other contributions were recognized when she was selected this spring as the recipient of a Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence.
Outside school, and off campus, Kim Shalvey connected with the city of Albany itself. From the exhibitions at the New York State Museum to the nooks and crannies on Lark Street, this city, that the University is so closely tied to, has become a significant and unique part of Kimís life.
When I asked Kim if she would come back to the University at Albany and if she would maintain her connections with it, she was confident she would. During our entire conversation, the thing that really stood out was her dedication to being an involved member of the UAlbany community, and as a result, the great experiences with the people at the University. In Kimís words, ďIf you get involved you will learn so much more than you could ever get from a classroom alone. You will meet people who can teach you things about yourself that you never knewÖ I have learned so much about different cultures, upbringings, and lifestyles -- things that I will appreciate forever.Ē