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Larry Carlson, senior lecturer at Texas State, approached Martin and asked if she was a student at the university.
“Well, I’m going to be,” Martin said.
Not knowing what she wanted to study, Martin accepted Carlson’s invitation to visit the university’s mass communication department.
The first day of orientation Martin took a tour through the university, eventually coming across Old Main.
“I don’t know why but it sounded good,” said Martin. “I latched on to that and I claimed that as my major from day one.”
A native of San Antonio, Martin applied to several universities, including Boston University, the University of San Francisco, the University of California and Texas State University.
Even though Martin was not familiar with public relations at first, she knew that’s what she wanted to study. Eventually, she fell in love with it.
“Public Relations … it gives a status to this vocation of being professional communicators,” said Martin.
Because of an internship at Guerra DeBerry Coody, a marketing and communications firm in San Antonio, Martin decided agency PR was going to be the best fit for her. With two other internships at Cavazos Public Relations & Advertising and AVANCE Inc., Martin received the experience she needed.
Martin graduated from Texas State in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and went to work at Creative Civilization, a marketing, advertising and public relations agency in San Antonio.
In 2008, Martin received a Master of Arts in Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word.
After gaining a reputation in her field, and several job offers, Creative Civilization made Martin the agency’s public relations manager.
“I was ignored for a while,” said Martin. “I was literally just a name that people saw on a press release … next thing you know I’m coordinating live interviews while Placido Domingo is in Italy and he’s talking to a live television show.”
Martin is also in charge of Creative Civilization’s internship program, which she has led for the past five years.
Katherine Espinosa, an intern at Creative Civilization, says she has Martin to thank for her improvement in the PR field.
“I have had an opportunity to grow beyond academic learning and immerse myself at an internship that provided me so much experience within all aspects of a full service agency,” said Espinosa. “I am so proud to have Lisa as a professor and mentor, her expertise in the field of public relations and professionalism are qualities I hope to attain in my own career.”
Apart from working at Creative Civilization, Martin is an adjunct professor at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, where she teaches a PR writing class.
Ana Castillo, one of the students currently taking Martin’s class, says Martin’s class has inspired her academic career.
“I have confidence that she will always be there,” said Castillo. “Knowing exactly what she has to go through day to day makes me confident about what I must be aware of. She inspires me in so many ways.”
Teaching at the college level has inspired Martin to continue her education and get a doctoral degree. Because of her experience in the field, Martin plans on becoming a full-time professor.
For now, Martin is happy where she is, stating that her love for public relations pushes her to prove herself over and over again, and to never stop learning.
“To be a good PR person or any job is to keep being a scholar in your field,” said Martin. “If you’re an educator, you should keep learning how to be a better educator; if you’re a journalist you should learn how to be a better writer all the time … I’m six years into my career, and it’s been good.”