Coming to Plattsburgh State through the Global Education Office as an international student from Haiti, Kira Paulemon integrated into campus life by becoming the vice president for student affairs and diversity for the Student Association.
As the vice president for student affairs and diversity, Paulemon’s job is to address any diversity issues that she thinks needs attention on campus. It also includes putting on events she thinks are necessary for the campus’ student body.
Being a member of SA, Paulemon also helps to fund the clubs that students see on campus. The SA puts on different programs; a lot of the art that’s on campus is bought by the SA through the vice president of arts. They put on activities, like inviting comedians to perform at the school. SA also puts on student affairs like the shuttle, voter registration and the lawyer program.
Along with being in SA, Paulemon is also a resident assistant and is a peer career assistant for the Career Development Center.
“At the CDC, what we do is basically anything, any questions that you have, any help or guidance that you need in terms of your career and your steps after graduation or if you’re looking for an internship and things like that,” Paulemon said. “We help with that so we do review of resumes, cover letters, grad school applications, we can help with branding and stuff like that.”
Paulemon’s compassion for people can be seen through her leadership roles on campus. She is a political science major who hopes to go into human rights or humanitarian law.
“I think that comes from the space where I have to care for everybody,” Paulemon said. “I really just have this thing inside of me where I really like to see people get along and just people getting what they deserve.”
Her compassion and concern for caring is also noticed in the classroom. Professor Daniel Lake takes note of Paulemon’s good work ethic.
“She works really hard and she really wants to understand if something didn’t go well,” Lake said.
While Paulemon enjoys helping people, she also understands the importance of knowing her own limits and making sure to take time to herself. Paulemon describes herself as both an introvert and an extrovert. She likes her quiet time to herself, where she can read and write, but she also enjoys conversation with other people.
“I doubt myself a lot,” Paulemon said. “Like I’ll have great ideas or like people will tell me that my ideas are very great, but I think that’s a characteristic that I have that’s like I don’t push myself enough. Everybody was telling me you should do this, you should run, you should do this but I like had to convince myself first that I could do it before I actually did it.”
She may view herself as someone who doesn’t push her boundaries enough, but her friend Luciene Riberio will say otherwise and admire her determination in everything she does.
“Kira doesn’t give up, and I think that’s something I really like about her.” Riberio said. “She finds other paths when the first one doesn’t work, and [when] the other one doesn’t work, and she has a really positive attitude which is contagious, and anyone who’s working with her and is around her can see it.”
Paulemon appreciates the love and support she gets from her friends. One of her favorite parts about coming to PSUC are the friends she made. Paulemon said although it was hard adjusting to college as an international student, her friends made everything easier.
To Lake, Paulemon’s determination in everything she does and her willingness to help others pushed her closer to her goals every day.
“She’s certainly a good student, but I think she’s honestly a good person.” Lake said. “I see her as being somebody who really cares about other people and the world, and I think that she’s got the potential to do some good stuff because of it.”