Posted on November 24, 2021 – written by Austin Nagelhout, SOE Graduate Assistant
"Because of Buffalo State, I am always working to foster a sense of purpose and community!"
Juan Martinez grew up surrounded by educators—both of his parents were teachers who attended education graduate programs at Buffalo State College. For this reason, Martinez did not want to pursue education originally, but after visiting the campus Career Center, he realized that he would love to shape and support the interests of individual students every day as a teacher.
The feeling of community at Buffalo State contributed to Martinez’s teaching practice. He stated, “Regardless of the skills I learned in the classroom about how to be the best teacher I could be (because we don't always remember those things specifically), the campus values, activities, sense of community and caring I felt when on campus were things I wanted to foster in the classroom and even where I am now in higher education.”
Martinez remembers Dr. Fred Howe, who is now retired, as a professor who inspired him. He even waited until Dr. Howe was teaching certain courses to take them, as he found Dr. Howe’s teaching style to be engaging, informative, and fun. The educational foundation courses in particular were meaningful to Martinez, as he says they taught him how to spark the imaginations of his students and make learning fun.
Besides classes, Martinez spent much of his time on campus even though he was a commuter. He would study and do group work in the library or head to the ice rink to skate when he had the chance. During Bengal Pause on Tuesdays and Thursdays, he took part in the available student activities.
Until recently, Martinez was teaching in the College Writing Program at Buffalo State. While he currently has no classes, he hopes to continue teaching in the future when enrollment allows. He would like to look into the role of higher education teachers, especially with an uncertain future due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Martinez is now working as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs at SUNY Erie. He would like to have more impact on institutes of learning in a provost capacity, and his time at Buffalo State has prepared him to accomplish this goal.
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