Gustie of the Week: Itzell Martinez

Emma KelseyStaff Writer

Junior Itzell Martinez has certainly brought a lot to the Gustavus community. From her infectious energy to her unwavering dedication to that which is important to her, Martinez is well known by those around her as an incredible person, and as a Gustie worthy of recognition.

Martinez follows her passions, as shown through her involvement on campus. She is involved in OLAS (Organization for Latinx Students), Gustie Greeters, Pre-Dental club, and is the VP of Harm Reduction for Tri Sigma Sorority. Martinez says these orgs are each important to her for the different qualities they bring into her life as a Gustie. “My favorite part of Gustavus is the community and relationships I have built throughout my time here,” Martinez said.

Martinez is on the Pre-Dental track with a Spanish major, and hopes to bring her many different skills into the dentistry field. Martinez shares that she chose Spanish as her major because she grew up speaking the language at home, but never learned how to read or write in Spanish in an academic setting. She hopes to utilize her bilinguality in a meaningful way in a dentistry career. 

“I chose [the pre-dental route] because I always found it interesting and since it is essential to our health I want to use my ability to speak two languages to help others,” Martinez said.

Maritza Beltran, who has known Martinez for three years and has been a close friend of hers for two, says that Martinez sets an example as someone who can balance academics with a social life, along with her commitment to spreading awareness about her culture. “I think that Gustavus could really use more of that, so it makes her shine just a bit brighter… Itzell puts a lot of work into advocating underrepresented voices on campus, and I’m blessed to have her as a friend and a fellow E-Board member of OLAS,” Beltran said. Beltran added that Martinez is excellent at staying organized, completing tasks in a timely manner, and doesn’t hesitate to address issues head-on when they affect team dynamics.

Pamela Pearson, the Multilingual and Intercultural Program Coordinator in the Center for International and Cultural Education at Gustavus, has known Martinez for approximately two years, and has witnessed all that makes her deserving of the Gustie of the Week recognition. “She is a highly involved member of our campus community…I appreciate Itzell’s kindness to others and dedication to studying, but above all, I admire her goal setting and future planning. Itzell intends to become a dentist and continually seeks out opportunities to build her skills and profile for dental school, including completing a program for predental students at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry last summer.”