Dr. Heather Martinez currently serves as the Senior Director of the Office of Community Engagement, the Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners, and the Office of Academic Enrichment which are all a part of the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement at Texas Tech University. Through her office she is responsible for implementing and overseeing programs and partnerships which serve the community, engage faculty, promote learning and encourage conversations about the value of higher education. Prior to her current position, Dr. Martinez held executive positions in the fields of education branding and advocacy, economic development and medical staffing and outsourcing.
Dr. Martinez holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master's of Business Administration degree from Wayland Baptist University, and obtained her Ph. D. in Higher Education administration at Texas Tech University. Her research interest focuses on the impact of culture and social identity on the college choice process and experience among minority female students in higher education.
Dr. Martinez is a proud alumna of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc., a member and former officer of the Hispanic Association of Women, a member of the Texas Tech Latino Hispanic Faculty and Staff Association, a member of the University Women's Club and a member of the Texas Tech University Gender Equity Council.
In addition to her duties in the role of director, Dr. Martinez is also an instructor, presenter and motivational speaker. She has taught courses in Women's Studies and Integrated Studies, has presented at several conferences and seminars and has served as a motivational speaker for various organizations including several independent school districts, Upward Bound programs, the Women's Leadership Forum, the Latina Leadership Initiative and the statewide Texas A & M University MEDALS conference.
Unit Coordinator Kasaundra Garcia is a West Texas native and Texas Tech alumna. Her responsibilities include assisting the unit in developing programs, activities and partnerships that help fulfill the mission of Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement as well as to assist in recruiting diverse students to Texas Tech University.
Kasaundra also functions as the liaison for AVID Texas Tech, serving in the provision of adequate resources that include, financial, staffing, and materials. As the AVID campus liaison, she is responsible for developing and monitoring an AVID Campus Plan that includes provisions for student and faculty services and workshops as well as plans for future growth and development of the program. In addition to her duties as the Unit Coordinator, Kasaundra also coordinates the AVID IS 1102 course at Texas Tech University, and is the TAME Chair for the Lubbock STEM Competitions, covering regions 16 and 17, and focusing on populations that remain underrepresented in fields of STEM. Kasaundra is also a Caregiver for the Texas Boys Ranch of Lubbock, providing basic and physical needs to children in care, assisting the children in formulating goals and objectives that improve their behavior, and working with the children’s teachers in formulating ways to enhance their educational experiences.
Kasaundra volunteers for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Service, Operation Baby watch and with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. Prior to joining the team Kasaundra worked as the STAR Administrator for Catholic Charities, helping individuals and families who face crises or need social services to improve their quality of life. Her role was to establish and carry out departmental goals, policies and procedures, manage general activities, analyze financial statements and improve other performance indicators. Kasaundra has a Bachelors of Science in Retail Management, and has a Master's of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.