“I am truly honored and humbled by this award because it comes from my community on campus: like-minded colleagues whose primary research, teaching, and service efforts focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion,” Martinez said. “As a Latina, I pursued my Ph.D. to increase access to higher education for Latinx youth. Since then, my work has also focused on the conditions of higher education for Latinx students and faculty, so it means so much to be recognized for this work.”
Martinez’s research attempts to challenge deficit frameworks about Latinx students and their families and seeks to highlight the assets this population brings to educational settings in hopes of highlighting best practices for institutions of higher education to better meet the needs of this population.
Martinez said she had so much support for her educational aspirations during high school and college that she want to give back to the Latinx community through her research and teaching: “One of my most gratifying teaching experiences at IU thus far has been teaching for the Latino Studies Program, but more specifically teaching Latino Studies content for the Groups Scholars Program on campus. I too, am a first-generation college goer so it’s gratifying to help other first-gen students navigate college life while learning about the Latinx population.”