New Director for Center for Student Leadership and Involvement
Photo by John Clisham
A young man walks up to the receptionist desk at the Student Activities Center and asks if there is a chess club on campus. The receptionist tells him that while no chess club currently exists, he can start his own club if he finds another student and files the necessary papers.
He's in luck, because behind him enters another young man looking for a chess club. Boom! Ithaca College has added to its long list of student activities.
"There are so many opportunities for students to get involved -- in one thing as a leader or in many things as a participant," says Terry Martinez in her role as the first director of the new Center for Student Leadership and Involvement. "That's the most exciting part."
Martinez, who began her position in August after serving for six years as dean of experiential learning at nearby Wells College, says she wants to help create more service learning initiatives in the Ithaca community. Among those in place already: gerontology students volunteering with senior citizens at the local Longview center, anthropology students working on a dig at a nearby Native American historical site, and management students helping out at a nonprofit human services agency.
The Center for Student Leadership and Involvement was formerly the Office of Campus Center and Activities. The new center now includes the growing Community Service Program, student activities, the alcohol-free IC after Dark weekend entertainment program, and student leadership experiences like the well-attended annual Leadership Weekend. Martinez says she is also charged with fostering better connections between the social, academic, and service segments of campus life and with finding a holistic approach to encouraging student responsibility.
She emphasizes that leadership must come not only through active involvement in a particular organization, but also through a process of self-discovery and collaborative work.
The graduate of New York University and the State University of New York at Buffalo has also worked at St. Joseph's College and SUNY at Old Westbury. At Ithaca she plans to reach out to the College community. "We've developed a mission statement to be a resource for the entire campus, including faculty advisers of student organizations," says Martinez. "We want to be a place where students can come for help or to just share their experiences. I think that everyday citizens can make a difference in their communities, even if they feel like they can't make a difference on the national or global level."
-- Nicole Gerring '05