Dino Martinez Opener

Telling Our Story, Living Our Priorities
Organizational Enhancement

Spotlight: Dino Martinez

Usually dressed in UAB green and his signature salt-and-pepper bearded smile, Dino Martinez is known for being a big fan of UAB and its students. Serving as assistant director at the UAB Career Center, he does career consulting for Blazers majoring in math, sciences, computer sciences, and communication studies.

Martinez came to UAB in 2016, rounding what would be nearly 40 years of service in Student Affairs. Since October is Careers in Student Affairs Month (as well as National Hispanic Heritage Month), we want to highlight our amazing colleague who adds value to the profession as well as lives out our strategic priority of organizational enhancement.

A path toward student-centeredness

Martinez kind of stumbled into the Student Affairs profession, he said. He began his undergraduate studies as a chemistry major at the University of Cincinnati, but in his notoriously difficult organic chemistry class he made a big discovery: that he should be a broadcasting major, instead.

Martinez also discovered the joy of serving students in housing and residence life. He became a resident assistant and kind of fell in love, he said. “I loved the experience of helping students transition from high school and also planning activities.” He left the University of Cincinnati with a Communication Arts degree.

All the people that I have met, all the places that I have traveled to,” Dino Martinez recounted of his Student Affairs career. “The relationships and colleagues who have become friends, and more than friends: family. It is truly an astonishing amazing career and time. I would not want to change anything.

Then, right out of college in 1982, Martinez was hired as a hall director at the Central University of Michigan and his trajectory of working in Student Affairs began. Spanning the country at several universities, Martinez served in roles that included housing and residence life, leadership and development, fraternity and sorority life, marketing and assessment, and student activities. That experience gave him a front row seat to how the many Student Affairs areas make a difference. “Collectively, when we are put together, that’s the strength we have,” he said. “Together, this tapestry, beautiful artwork we create has an impact on our students.”

Today as a Blazer, he is making his mark among the nearly 200-member Student Affairs division. According to the 2019 Campus Engagement Survey, 91% of them agreed or strongly agreed that “I understand how my job contributes to this institution’s mission.

Dino Martinez in office with phone

And, because of that understanding, the students are the better for it. Martinez’s students consistently sing his praises.

“Dino Martinez is the man,” one student said. “Our semi regular meetings have set me on a positive course to starting a career.”

Another student commented: “Truly I cannot say enough how much I appreciate Dino's expertise, positive encouragement, and professionalism. I feel that he cares about my success and is passionate about helping students move forward in their careers.”

At the end of the day, Martinez is glad he pivoted toward student affairs. “All the people that I have met, all the places that I have traveled to,” he recounted. “The relationships and colleagues who have become friends, and more than friends: family. It is truly an astonishing amazing career and time. I would not want to change anything.”

His advice to aspiring Student Affairs professionals: “Explore and reach out to the different areas, meet with them and learn their story and then shadow them.”

Great job, Dino!