Kimberly Marquez-Torres and her fiancé, Cesar Heredia completed their Master’s Degree in Emergency and Disaster Management in December 2017 –TOGETHER!

Kimberly moved to NYC prior to her deployment to Afghanistan in 2013.  Enlisting in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, she became a Military Police soldier in the United States Army. When she returned from Afghanistan, she enrolled at St. Johns University to complete her undergraduate degree in Legal Studies. Upon graduation, she started her new career at New York City’s Department of Investigation, assigned to the Health & Hospitals Unit.  Excited to be working for the city but not truly satisfied with where her career was heading, she began to explore her options.

“I felt that the knowledge and experience I gained throughout my life, and during my time in the military, set the stage for my development. I wanted to work in an exciting field, and I wanted to continue to better myself overall,” said Kimberly.

On the same path of working toward higher aspirations was Cesar Heredia, Kimberly’s fiancé.  “There were no silver spoons in my family.  I was not handed anything in life,” says Cesar of his upbringing, “Education was stressed at an early age in my household.  I knew that I was going to be a life-long learner.”

Cesar mentioned to Kimberly that Metropolitan College of New York had made a presentation at his city job discussing the advantages of accelerated degrees.  The couple decided to attend an Open House event to learn more about the MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management program.  After meeting with Program Director Ali M. Gheith, the couple decided to pursue their graduate degrees – TOGETHER!

“I would soon find out that this program has amazing contributors such as professors that are in the field and the amazing abroad trip to Malaga, Spain, where we got a glimpse of their culture and ways of practice in the field,” Kimberly adds, “In fact, attending MCNY afforded me the opportunity to meet a fantastic professor who is now my supervisor at the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.  I find great joy in calling myself a graduate of MCNY.”

“MCNY provided me the opportunity to attain my MPA in Emergency and Disaster Management through an advanced one-year program while working fulltime and building upon my resiliency and confidence to tackle the challenges of life.  The sleepless nights, the tiring commute to work, meeting my classwork deadlines and everything else that was involved, in and out of the classroom, made me stronger.  The MPA program at MCNY gave me a deeper education and exposure to a field that is vastly growing and in need of fresh innovative minds,” said Cesar.

“Take advantage of the opportunity to gain more knowledge.  Do not be the person that just sits back and expects others to create opportunities for you.  Be the solution.  Be the one that people follow during a disaster.  My time at MCNY confirmed the direction of my passion.  I made the decision to attend MCNY and became active in my learning.  And now, I could not be happier with the results.”

Please join MCNY in wishing this alumni couple the best of luck as they pursue their passion for public service – TOGETHER!