Beyond the Bluff: Jeannette Martinez ’19

Jeannette Martinez ’19
Majors: Theology and Art History
Next Step: The Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) program at Santa Clara University

Jeannette Martinez will graduate with honors as a double major in art history and theological studies. Martinez started LMU as a different major, but switched to theology after recognizing a genuine desire to strengthen her own faith and Catholic identity. During her sophomore year, she added an additional major in art history.

“My majors compliment each other very well because across cultures and time, it can be seen that art is a reflection of religious beliefs and practices,” says Martinez.

Another focus of Martinez’s studies has been learning about what inspires humanity. What realities and challenges do different cultures face? What beliefs do different people hold and how does that shape their understanding of the world? How do people practice and live out their religion?

One of Martinez’s most memorable courses at LMU was on the Gospel of Mark, taught by the late David A. Sánchez. She found the teachings about a God who is forgiving, loving, and welcoming to be incredibly beneficial to her faith. She also found Professor Sánchez to be a role model for how to live out these values.

Sánchez truly made every single one of his students feel that they were seen and encouraged,” says Martinez.

Martinez intends to translate much of what she learned from Professor Sánchez into her work this coming fall teaching social studies, religion, and art history at a TK-8 school in San Jose, CA.

“Not only will I carry with me Professor Sánchez‘s theological teachings, but I will also see the potential in every student just as he did,” says Martinez.

Martinez’s teaching appointment is a component of a competitive program that she was accepted into, Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) at Santa Clara University. While teaching in a local Catholic school and living in the community, she will earn her MA in Teaching and a teaching credential in social studies.

Martinez will be graduating early, but in her three years she has managed to take full advantage of all that LMU has to offer. She studied abroad in the Czech Republic and Poland, and will complete her final undergraduate course this summer in Rome. As a Rains Research Assistant, she worked alongside Professor Amir Hussain on two chapters of his upcoming book highlighting the significant contributions of 25 Muslim Americans. Under the mentorship of Professor Gil Klein, she researched Jewish art in LMU’s Archives and Special Collections’ edition of Willem Surenhuy’s Latin translation of the Mishnah. Her scholarship received an honorable mention in LMU’s Undergraduate Library Research Competition.

While at LMU, she also became a member of Theta Alpha Kappa, Creare Service Organization, McCarthy Experience in Education, and the College of Communication & Fine Arts’ student council.

“I am overjoyed to have found a master’s degree program and career, which will allow me to teach the subjects that I have fallen in love with at LMU,” says Martinez.

Seniors at Loyola Marymount University have been preparing for life after LMU all year. In our Beyond the Bluff series, liberal arts seniors reflect on their post-graduate next steps and the experiences that shaped their career plans.