Charlene Martinez is Mills’ new assistant Student Activities director.
Martinez began her work in student activities at the UC San Diego’s cross-cultural center, a space which supports all student groups on campus.
“There’s some sort of energy derived when folks feel close to one another, and the cross-cultural center was a space for community-building,” said Martinez. While working for the cross-cultural center, she received her master’s in education and counseling.
Martinez believes in the importance of the link between diversity and student activities. Most student organizations run by a diverse student body possess equally diverse cultural and political affiliations.
“My purpose in life is to help students find their way,” said Martinez.
She said she will encourage Mills students, through their involvement in student organizations, to express whatever makes them unique members of the Mills community.
Courtney Young-Law, director of Student Activities, believes that the role of Student Activities is to make students feel connected with the community and to give students the tools to organize events. “Students are the experts on student culture,” said Young-Law.
For this reason, Young-Law, with the help of Martinez, plans to make student involvement a priority.
Additionally, Martinez said the skills acquired are vital to accomplishments outside of school.
“Students can actualize themselves in the real world once they gain transferable skills here,” she said.
According to Martinez, these skills are good for resume building, helping with the budget of a student organization, chairing a meeting and being empowered to lead.
Martinez’s presence will also allow Young-Law to assume a greater leadership role in her department and as a staff member. “She’ll be able to help Courtney deal with the little things she doesn’t have time for that add up to big things,” said junior Mary Taloff, a Mills traditions leader.