Faculty Spotlight: Gilbert D. Martinez

Gilbert Martinez

Martinez visited the Columbia Icefield in the Canadian Rockies last May

SJMC Concentration: Journalism

Hometown: McAllen, Texas

Current city: Austin, Texas

What brought you to the SJMC at Texas State University? I was brought to SJMC to teach media law. In addition to teaching, I also serve as an assistant director in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication.

How long have you been with the SJMC? I’ve been here since Fall 2003.

What courses do you teach? My main responsibility is to teach MC 4301 Mass Communication Law & Ethics. I also teach in the Honors College: HON 3396E: Free Speech, Free Press and the Supreme Court of the United States.

In past semesters, I have taught MC 1313: Writing for the Mass Media and MC 3383: Editing for Clear Communication. In addition, I have taught an honors section of US 1100: University Seminar.

Mention any research/projects that you have recently done or in which you are currently involved: With Dr. Kate Peirce, I co-authored a journal article, “How We Learn to Teach: Trial Fire, by the Seat of Our Pants and Other (More Scientific) Methods,” in Journalism and Mass Communication Educator in June 2012.

Awards/recognitions received: In Spring 2011, I was runner-up in the College of Fine Arts and Communication for the Presidential Excellence Award in Teaching and received a $1,000 award.

What are some of your hobbies or things you enjoy doing outside of work? I am interested in professional baseball and bicycles, and volunteer my time in those areas. I am head of the Rogers Hornsby Chapter in the Society for American Baseball Research, an organization dedicated to studying all facets of baseball. I am also the past president of the Austin Cycling Association and continue to serve on the board of directors for this nonprofit that focuses on educating the public about the benefits of cycling.

What inspires you? The life and memory of my mother provides the most inspiration to me. As a little girl, she survived the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. Later, she married my dad, who served in the Air Force. She relocated, helped raise a family and taught me how to be resilient and compassionate. I think of the challenges she faced every day and recognize how her sacrifices afforded me greater opportunities. I’m not living the life I have now without her and my dad’s sacrifices and encouragements.

What do you find most fulfilling or rewarding about teaching college students? I love the interaction with college students. They bring their experiences, thoughts and curiosity with them. Though teaching the same material might sound like it can get dull, I live vicariously through my students because I am reminded that their reactions and questions are similar to my own when I first learned about important topics in media law. I am always honored and touched when former students reach out to me with a quick note about a current event that reminds them of the positive experience they had in media law class.

Please offer any advice you may have for current SJMC students: I know they are aware of the tremendous changes in mass communication. It can be daunting and intimidating to graduate into an uncertain career. But I hope they know that the skills they are learning in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication are the key to building their careers. The writing, critical thinking and digital and multimedia skills will allow them to be flexible and agile after they graduate. As a school, we have invested our time and effort into them and know that they have talent, skills and drive to achieve their goals.

Additional Information: On a personal note, I recently started commuting by motorcycle, which is, perhaps, a logical extension of the bicycle. Well, I tell myself that, anyway. I’ve been riding regularly since November. I enjoy it greatly – my commute is more interesting, my fuel costs have plummeted and parking is so much easier!

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