Curious Alumni: Selina Martinez

Photo Credit:
Wed, 10/02/2019 - 14:16

Selina Martinez, 2015 graduate, Organizing Director at Nebraska Appleseed

Major: Sociology

Minors: Communication, Business Administration

What sparked your interest in your areas of study?

I took my first sociology class in high school and had an instant interest in the field. I felt like the class validated so much of my personal experience as a woman of color and the faculty in the sociology department did too.

Additionally, connecting with people is something that I have always enjoyed and effective communication is at the core of building an authentic relationship. So picking up that minor seemed like a natural thing to do.

While in college, I wasn't expecting to enjoy my business classes but I ended up really enjoying my marketing and management classes because of their focus on people.

How did you get to where you are now and how did your education help?
My college path has not been traditional. I became a mom my sophomore year of college and I had to quickly learn to redefine what success looked like for me. I think students are often receiving messages about the "right" way to go through college but that's not true at all. The reality is that we all value different things, some students will value how quickly they go through college, while others will value the connections they make. For me it was important to show my son and other young moms that we can get through college. As an undergrad, my sociology professor had suggested I do an internship and the place I did my internship is where I am employed today! In my career I've been able to apply all the areas of study. My job is to work with people to create social change. I've been able to apply recruitment techniques that I learned in sociology to identify people to work with.

Meanwhile, communication helped prepare me for the various methods of communication when I work with people. Finally, marketing and management really helps during campaigns such as get out to vote campaigns when I have to manage multiple activities while motivating people to vote.

Were there any other experiences from your time at UNL that helped you get to where you are now?
Being a part of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community was incredibly helpful during my time at UNL. The support and guidance of the WHT staff helped me in every way during college, from figuring out where to pay my UNL parking ticket to helping me prepare to be a parenting college student.