Responsible for reviewing academic proposals admitted by the colleges and universities across the state of New York, Dina M. Sevayega, EdD, recently retired from her position as a college and university evaluation associate with the New York State Education Department (NYSED) in 2019, previously working in this post for 27 years. During this time, she also attended and participated in accreditation visits throughout New York and conducted several reviews in higher education institutes wanting to operate in the state. Prior to this role, Dr. Sevayega began her career teaching with the Columbus Board of Education in 1964, remaining in this position for three years before transferring to the Youngstown Board of Education from 1967 to 1976.
From this point on, Dr. Sevayega was the assistant director of development education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, from 1976 to 1979, and director of the educational opportunity programs at Indiana University Bloomington from 1979 to 1982 and Ithaca College from 1982 to 1986, respectively. She then joined NYSED as an associate in 1986, staying there for two years before focusing on the areas of professional education academy program review from 1988 to 1992 and college and university evaluation from 1992 until her retirement. In addition to this tenure, Dr. Sevayega has worked with the Ontario College of Teachers, the National University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco and the National Commission for University Evaluation and Accreditation in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She was also the coordinator of the NYSED Accreditation of Teacher Education Programs, and was on the board of examiners and a New York State representative of the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC) and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Prior to the start of her professional career, Dr. Sevayega pursued a formal education at Ohio State University, earning a Bachelor of Science in 1964, and later completed postgraduate coursework at Miami University between 1975 and 1976. She then matriculated at Youngstown State University, where she received a Master of Science in 1976. Dr. Sevayega went on to obtain an EdD from Indiana University Bloomington in 1983.
Active in her local community, Dr. Sevayega has served as treasurer on the board of directors of the Harvest of Hope Foundation since 2002, which provides emergency and educational financial relief to migrant farmworkers and their families. Additionally, she was a member of the New York Higher Education Support Center for SystemsChange, a former initiative of the P-12 Office of Special Education within NYSED. It helped plan and implement quality inclusive teacher preparation programs at colleges and universities in New York state and helped engage in and support professional development in selected high needs schools.
In her youth, Dr. Sevayega grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and was the oldest of a family of 12 children who migrated from the valley of Texas to Michigan, where they followed crops, picked cotton, harvested fruits and did farm work. She graduated high school, and initially wanted to be an accountant. In graduate school, she was a business major, but realized that she could be a teacher after tutoring her roommate. She decided to be a teacher, and figured that would be one way to go about her business education. Given her background and the teaching experiences that she had at secondary level, Dr. Sevayega felt very connected with her students. She was working in an urban environment with struggling students who had family challenges, as well as economic challenges, and her students still reach out to her today.