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Unstoppable Segura Carries Flag at UAlbany Commencement

Graduating public policy major Kim Segura, on the Downtown Campus. (Photo by Mark Schmidt)

ALBANY, N.Y. — With her parents and grandparents looking on, Kimberly Segura, had the honor of carrying the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy flag in UAlbany's graduation procession on May 18. She was also proudly carrying the hopes and dreams of a family whose love, courage and sacrifice have been a constant source of inspiration to her.

For Segura, who graduates with a bachelor’s degree in public policy, enrolling in Rockefeller College’s combined BA/MPA program was an opportunity not to be missed.

Segura is unstoppable whether she’s tackling a demanding course load, rolling up her sleeves to help Habitat for Humanity or the post-Hurricane Irene cleanup effort in Schoharie County, handling 24/7 responsibilities as a resident assistant in Alumni Quad, or supervising production and editing of student television programming at ATV 360/Albany Student Television.

What drives her?

“My family,” Segura says without hesitation. “I don’t want a second or a day to go by where I don’t feel like I’m making them proud.”

Assembly Speaker Silver with Segura

Segura receives a NYS Assembly Speaker’s Certificate of Recognition from the speaker himself, Sheldon Silver.

The only child of Colombian immigrants who settled on Long Island after coming to the U.S. in search of opportunity when they were teens, Segura is quick to credit her parents, Patty and Jaime, with making it possible for her to be one of the first in her family to earn a college education.

“My parents aren’t wealthy,” says Segura. “They worked hard to put me through school and give me opportunities they never had. They’ve always stressed the importance of education. Thanks to them, I’m graduating without debt.”

Her family has reason to be proud. Segura is a founding member of the Rockefeller College Dean’s Leadership Council, and is active in the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Albany Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, and the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa. For four consecutive years, she has been the recipient of the University’s Spellman Achievement Award. This year she will also receive the Spellman Achievement Award for Leadership.

In addition to earning her B.A., Segura will graduate with a minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. “It’s where my roots are,” she says with a smile. “I’ve always wanted to know more about the history of the region.”

In a little over a year, she will have completed her Master of Public Administration. Her long-term goal is to work for the Department of State in Washington, D.C., where she hopes to play a role in developing policies that strengthen the bonds between the U.S. and Latin America.

Preparation for that dream job has already begun. This semester, she’s working as a research assistant/intern with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus in Albany. In spring 2013, as a New York State Assembly intern assigned to the office of Speaker Sheldon Silver, Segura had a birds-eye view of the policymaking process.

One of the highlights of her academic career − in addition to receiving the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence − was receiving the Speaker’s Certificate of Recognition for successfully leading the 33rd Class of the New York State Assembly Interns in a three-hour mock legislative session at the New York State Capitol.

“Seeing my mom and grandmother in the front row with tears in their eyes was something no one can ever take away from me,” recalls Segura. “If they believe in me, I know I can do anything.”

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than
120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.