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New scholarship honors memory of former NMSU engineering student

Friends of Leticia Segovia, a former New Mexico State University student, have established a scholarship honoring her memory after she died last year following a courageous battle with cancer.



Friends of Leticia Segovia have established a scholarship honoring her memory after she died last year following a courageous battle with cancer. The Leticia (Tish) Segovia Memorial Scholarship is intended to support undergraduate civil engineering students at NMSU with the hope of encouraging female Hispanic graduates from the three Las Cruces high schools to pursue engineering as a career. (Courtesy photo)

Segovia was born in Torrance, Calif. and graduated from Las Cruces High School in 1984. She began her studies at NMSU before moving to Albuquerque. In 1989 she earned her bachelor of science in civil engineering from the University of New Mexico. Five years later, she graduated from California State University Long Beach with a master's degree in civil engineering.

It was no surprise to anyone that Segovia chose to study engineering, as she was raised in a family full of engineers. Her father, brother, and sister, all graduated from NMSU with a bachelor's in civil engineering/civil engineering technology from NMSU.

The Leticia (Tish) Segovia Memorial Scholarship is intended to support undergraduate civil engineering students at NMSU with the hope of encouraging female Hispanic graduates from the three Las Cruces high schools to pursue engineering as a career.

Lisa Somoza Robles, Julie Ludwig McAfee, Holly Chalekian Warburton and Kathy Kersting were friends of Segovia since high school, and said they believed that this scholarship would be the best way to honor her memory because of her dedication to her studies.

"Given Tish's focus on education in so many ways, [we] felt a scholarship in a field in which she excelled would be a great way...to promote engineering as a career, especially for women," said Kersting. "This scholarship aims to keep her memory alive, while most importantly, helping a student achieve his or her engineering degree."

Robles remembered Segovia as an avid reader, often reading more than two books a week.
"I don't ever remember her without a book in her hand," echoed Warburton. "She was a voracious reader and always encouraged us to read."

Asked what advice Segovia would have given students vying for the scholarship, McAfee said she would have encouraged them to find a balance in life and to do things they enjoy.

"I think she would acknowledge that while the curriculum will be tough at times, students should not give up," added Kersting. "They need to work hard and persevere in order to achieve their engineering degree that will help ensure that they have a successful future."

In addition to being a professional engineer who worked for the Doņa Ana County Flood Commission the last nine years of her life, Segovia dedicated much of her time to community service efforts. She volunteered as a member of the Junior League of Las Cruces, Zia Middle School Parent Teacher Organization, Las Cruces High School Booster Club, the Whole Enchilada Fiesta committee and as a religious education teacher at Saint Albert's Parish.



She also donated books for the Junior League's annual book drive. In honor of her dedication to donating books to children in the community, a reading room at the First Step (Healthcare) Center was named in her honor in April 2011.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Leticia (Tish) Segovia Memorial Current Use Scholarship/Fund may send a check made payable to the NMSU Foundation with a notation for the Segovia scholarship mailed to College of Engineering; Assistant Dean's Office, MSC 3449; New Mexico State University; PO Box 30001; Las Cruces, NM 88003-8001.

For more information, contact Patricia Sullivan, assistant dean, at patsulli@nmsu.edu or 575-646-2913.