UHV student takes interest in her heritage

Elizabeth Martinez

University of Houston-Victoria student Elizabeth Martinez enjoys being vice president of the Mexican American Student Organization at the university.

“Everyone is welcome to join,” Martinez said. “I like to do productive things, and student organizations are the best way to volunteer my time to UHV and the community.”

The group is dedicated to encouraging volunteerism and activities that help advance ethnic minorities.

Martinez’s keen interest in her heritage also led to her representing UHV on a national TV quiz show about Hispanic culture. In April of 2008, she traveled to Chicago with four team members and a coach to tape the show. The UHV team competed against seven other universities from across the country.

“It was very exciting,” Martinez said. “It was fun getting to meet other students from other colleges, but it was also tough. They told us we’d get a practice round before we started, but they were running late, and we were the first group up, so we were really nervous.”

The students were given a book about Hispanic culture to prepare for the show.

“We got the book at the last minute,” Martinez explained. “We only had two weeks to study, and we were all going to school full time and working. But even though we didn’t win, it was a great experience, and we learned a lot.”

The showed aired in September; it was the first TV appearance for Martinez.

“I had a lot of friends and just random people who said they saw me, which was weird because I didn’t really tell a lot of people other than family,” she said.

Martinez, an English major pursuing a secondary teaching certification, was on the UHV Dean’s List in the spring. She recently was elected to the Student Senate as the undergraduate representative for the School of Arts & Science and also is a member of G-Force, an organization that mentors high school and community college students.

When she graduates, Martinez hopes to teach high school English and pursue a master’s degree at UHV.

The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler  or call 361-570-4350.

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.