by Kendra Bridel
Senior Joe Martinez has made a success out of himself during the past three and a half years at the University of La Verne.
Martinez is a political science major. He plans on continuing his education by getting his master’s degree in theology.
Some of Martinez’s hobbies include surfing and playing in a band. He started his own band called, “Comic Opera.” They played cover songs by Mr. Big, Duran Duran and Black Crows.
Martinez wrote three original songs. During the summer after his high school graduation, the “Comic Opera” opened up for a band called “Drowning Sun” at Madellenies in Huntington Beach. The band also played at a few coffee houses.
Martinez has been involved since he came to ULV. He has been a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity since his freshman year. He served as treasurer during his freshman and sophomore years and was the social chairman his junior year.
“I’m really proud of us. I devote a lot of my experience from everything I’ve accomplished to the fraternity. I gained a lot of leadership skills. One of the biggest things I gained from Phi Delta Theta is when we were finally initiated as a chapter,” said Martinez. He was proud to admit that he was the first to be initiated as a Phi Delta Theta, instead of their previous local fraternity, Sigma Tau Xi.
Currently, Martinez serves as a resident assistant in Brandt Hall’s first floor.
“I enjoy doing it. I’ve really gotten close to my residents on the first floor. We’re pretty tight, almost like a family in a sense. I have a feeling they know I am there for them and they feel they can come to me,” said Martinez.
Presently, Martinez is the president of the Inter Fraternity/Sorority Council (IFSC) with his main focus being to unite the Greeks together.
“I would like to see some growth in Greek community. I’d like to see everyone’s numbers go up. I want to make sure it’s a strong sense of community when I leave, so that when I come back in 10 years it will still be here,” said Martinez.
Martinez is also a new member of the cheer squad. The squad needed men to help them with the stunt squad. Martinez and a few others tried out and most of them made it.
“I love it, it’s great. I enjoy being out there and supporting the football team. I have a lot of energy and support for them. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments from football players. Out of all the business stuff I do, this is my social release,” Martinez said.
Martinez came to La Verne for a theater festival during his senior year in high school. During that time, he found his home away from home.
“I loved the family sense, everyone seemed to love each other and be close,” said Martinez.
He came from Yucaipa, a small community. He liked that atmosphere and wanted to continue that experience at ULV.
In high school, Martinez was involved in the theater and the choir. He kept himself busy working full-time.
Martinez has big hopes for his future.
“There’s a few opportunities that I have. There’s a three year scholarship at Bethany [Theological Seminary], in Richmond, Ind. The Church of Brethren would sponsor and pay for my master’s degree in theology,” said Martinez.
Another of Martinez’s possibilities would be to teach government or history at the high school level. To do this, he would have to go back to school for his teaching credential.
The last possibility would be to pursue the position of district youth adviser for Pacific Southwest District for the Church of Brethren.
“That would be my ultimate goal,” said Martinez, however, he must receive his master’s degree first.
In 10 years, Martinez sees himself living in San Francisco.
“I love San Fran. I love the water and the view. I’d like to live near the town,” said Martinez, who hopes to be married by then and in the beginning stages of starting a family.
Shelvin Lal, a senior biology major, spent a summer working with Martinez doing summer service together at Camp La Verne and has had a big impact on Martinez’s life.
“We’re constantly helping each other out. We gained a lot of trust for each other. Although we came from different places, we were surprised we didn’t become closer sooner,” said Martinez.
“He’s somebody I talk to about personal things. Our friendship will definitely go further than undergraduate college,” said Lal.
“I’m always trying to help people out. It’s not that I feel better about myself, but I like helping them out and giving to them; being an R.A. helps me to be a guidance for them,” said Martinez.
Said Lal, “I feel that when you look at other students and compare him to them, he looks like a shining star. If you asked Joe, he wouldn’t think so, but yeah, he’s definitely made a success out of himself.”