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Meet Our Team

Dr. Heather Martinez

Dr. Heather H. Martinez


Dr. Heather Martinez currently serves as the Director of the Office of Community Engagement and as the Director of the Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners, both of which are 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.

Mari Samarripas

Mari Samarripas

Section Coordinator

Joining the Office of Community Engagement in September 2013, Mari Samarripas will be assisting in the presentation and planning of various K-12 outreach programs. Mari is a proud native of the South Plains and believes in the value of higher education and the various opportunities it presents for students from any background, culture and ethnicity. She currently holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from West Texas A&M University, and is pursuing a Master degree from Texas Tech.

Prior to joining the OCE staff, Mari was employed by KVII-TV in Amarillo as a Multi-Media Journalist. After four years in Amarillo, she is thrilled to be back in Lubbock, Texas. She is looking forward to promoting the value of higher education, serving and volunteering in a community she calls, home.