CAMILA SEGURA RIVERA
Urban Planning + Design | College of Arts and Sciences | 2018
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How has your college program inspired you?
In the AUP+D Program at UMKC, inspiration is effortless. Everyday I am inspired to see things through different lenses; to understand the root of human tendencies in order to better accommodate their behavior. We are not only taught to be great planners but also to be great citizens in the way we are inspired to regard other people.
Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?
I hate to be a cliché, as do most students who are trying to capture their individualistic essence at this stage in their lives, but college has in every way opened my eyes. Since entering, I have learned that I can be wrong, and there is no shame in it. The shame is realizing I am wrong and not changing my outlook and strategy. With this I have learned that limitations only exist when I choose not to work. I have the capability of achieving greatness, and if great things were easy, they would not be great, they would simply be.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
The best and my favorite piece of advice came from my environmental design professor, Rebecca Riden. It is a course in the architecture program we are all required to take in AUP+D and she says: When designing a building you must never slap anything on it, to make sure no matter how small the detail that it has a purpose. As a planner and a person, this remains useful. I make sure everything I do in life is purposeful, and as a result I walk with purpose; never aimlessly.
Who do you admire most at UMKC?
I admire the professors and the people running the AUP+D program. Joy D. Swallow, Stella Szymanski, Michael Frisch, Ted Seligson, Jacob Wagner, Sungyop Kim, Rebecca Riden, John Eck, Stephanie Frank, the people who make sure our building stays clean, and all of the people who play a hand in its functionality who I did not mention. These professors not only have incredible patience with us, but they also are constantly working on other projects outside of Katz Hall. They are practicing planners and architects. Meanwhile creating and being a part of beautiful things, they are playing the roles of our second parents in the way they take us in our rawest stages in these professions, pushing us in the hardest directions, and teaching us that a problem is only as big as we allow it to be. They go above and beyond my expectations, and I am incredibly grateful for their lessons and support.
Are you a first-generation college student?
My mother attended college but never finished. Given my Hispanic heritage and culture this means a lot. We are taught that family is the most important factor in our lives. Because I am one of the eldest of my generation, and the oldest of six children, it is my job to set the example for not only my siblings but also my younger cousins. If I do not finish, I am showing about 30 to 40 younger children that it is OK to leave things undone; and that is not what I am working toward. Being a first-generation college student I have the opportunity to inspire my family members, and hopefully allowing this effect to snowball towards inspiring other Hispanic youth who may come from unconventional circumstances.
What’s your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is losing sight of my motives. I am working towards doing what I love, not what will be the most profitable. I cannot forget that humanity deserves to remain my top priority.
What is one word that best describes you?
I would like to think that one word that best describes me is dynamic. As an adjective, it is characterized by constant change, activity or progress, but as a noun, it is one that motivates, affects development or stability. I hope to do all of those things. I hope to never remain stagnant, to always progress and in doing so, motivating my family and peers to burst past the barriers with me in efforts to achieve the greatest of things.