Melinda E. Martinez
Melinda E. Martinez is a member of Marist's M.A. in Educational Psychology Class of 2013. She holds a BA in English from Marist and serves as the Director of the Marist Liberty Partnerships Program.
Tell us about your work history before Marist, including years of experience, industry, companies, and positions.
Upon graduation in 2007, I worked for Rockland County’s ARC as a Habilitation Specialist. I developed curriculum and lesson plans to teach functional life skills and pre- vocational skills to developmentally disabled individuals. I then worked as a director of Sylvan Learning Centers in New York, New Jersey, and Florida. I supervised and assisted in the development and implementation of enhanced learning opportunities for children as well as youth to help improve their academic performance. I truly enjoyed working with diverse students.
What are your career goals?
I want to get a Master’s of Business Administration in Ethical Leadership and a Ph.D. I want to run my non-profit organization successfully and use my resources to open a school for at-risk students.
Why did you choose to pursue your degree at Marist?
I believe that furthering one’s education is important. That is why I decided to get my Master’s. I also pursued my degree because I wanted to be in compliance with New York State regulations in order to keep my teaching license. I decided to pursue my degree at Marist because it’s my alma mater and a reputable school. Marist also provided me with a tuition discount to be a part of the hybrid Educational Psychology program.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development?
One of the courses that I took during my last year in the hybrid program was in regard to Adolescence Education. I learned about educating the “whole adolescent.” I learned strategies on how to develop students into competent, confident, creative, caring, and compassionate individuals who respect themselves, their peers, their families, as well as their communities. One of the projects for this course required that I create a school that would educate the “whole adolescent.” While conducting research, I learned about the importance of schools having multi-age learning communities with opportunities for hands-on learning, collaborative learning, and self-construction. This project sparked my interest in wanting to open up a Montessori school that would prepare students for the 21st century.
How has a degree from Marist and your course work enhanced your career?
The courses that I have completed in my Educational Psychology graduate program have molded me into a well-rounded educator and a professional inquirer. My education and reputation at Marist helped me get my current position as the Director of the Marist Liberty Partnerships.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing their master’s degree at Marist?
I would advise students who are considering pursuing their Master’s degree at Marist to develop relationships with their professors and colleagues. Since I was a distance learner, constant communication with my professors and colleagues was crucial. My professors were very understanding and encouraging. My colleagues were relatable and resourceful.
If you took an online class or had online learning as part of a regular course, tell us about your experiences – any tips or suggestions to pass along to future students?
Since I resided in Florida during the time I was in the hybrid program, I completed many of the courses online. Initially, I was apprehensive about online learning because the face-to-face interaction was my preference. I greatly benefited from interaction with my cohort in the summers. This helped me establish relationships with my colleagues and some professors. Working with these individuals online after having met them was easier than I expected. Online learning fits into my lifestyle. I worked almost ten hours a day. I completed my assignments at my leisure. At times, completing group projects was challenging because coordinating several individuals’ schedules and designating tasks were difficult. However, my colleagues and I worked together to achieve our goals.
Profile Tags:Profile Type: Alumni
Major: Educational Psychology
Academic School: Social and Behavioral Sciences