New UHV education associate dean ready to lend hand

After 13 years of teaching in the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development, Rachel Martinez has moved into a leadership role with the school.

Rachel Martinez

Martinez was promoted Sept. 1 from associate professor to associate dean of the education school. She replaces Jane Fry, who held the position for 4½ years. Fry decided to return to teaching full time.

“Dr. Martinez has the necessary experience and knowledge to effectively move the initiatives of the school forward,” said Fred Litton, dean of the UHV School of Education, Health Professions & Human Development. “We welcome her to the leadership team for the coming years as we experience continued enrollment growth and program expansion.”

Martinez said her primary objective as associate dean will be to help faculty and staff members achieve their goals.

“I’m excited about what our faculty and staff do,” Martinez said. “We have high quality programs, and our faculty members help students become strong professionals in their fields. The faculty is committed to continually improving our programs, and I’m prepared to assist.”

Fred Litton

Martinez will work with the school’s staff members to ensure students are progressing through their programs. She’ll also be accessible to students who have questions or concerns.

“The staff is constantly going above and beyond,” Martinez said. “We are always working on enrollment and making sure our students are successful.”

Martinez earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She obtained master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Texas Tech University.

She worked for 15 years as a diagnostician with the Goliad Special Education Cooperative. There, Martinez helped determine if students were qualified for enrollment in special education services at several Crossroads school districts.

“We had to constantly came together as a group to help them plan goals for the year,” she said about her time with the cooperative. “I was the person at the table who kept the meetings rolling. That experience helped me. I’m used to setting goals and figuring out how to accomplish them. I’m used to taking different ideas and seeing how we can come together.”

Martinez started at UHV in 2003 as an adjunct professor before coming aboard full time in 2008. She taught classes for future educational diagnosticians, served as a program coordinator and helped start two new master’s concentrations – one for autism and the other for applied behavioral analysis. She has been published in the National Social Science Journal and the International Journal of Special Education and has made presentations at conferences in Sweden, France and Spain.

Martinez also served for several years in the UHV Faculty Senate and is involved on the Community of Readers committee that selects the common reading book each year. Her experience working with people across the university will be an asset in her new role, she said.

When Fry announced she was leaving the post, Litton opened up the job to the education school faculty.

“I had other faculty members approach me and ask if I was interested in begin associate dean,” Martinez said. “I thought about it and talked with my family before deciding I was interested in the position. I saw it as a job where I can do a lot of good.”

Martinez shadowed Fry this summer to learn more about the position.

“Dr. Fry did a fabulous job, and she was generous with her time to show me how to approach the position,” Martinez said.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Jeremy Shapiro