Celebrating Diana Martinez

Diana started at Wesleyan working as the Office of Community Service Coordinator in the academic year 13′-14′. This week, we are celebrating her promotion as the Assistant Director for the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships! In the past three years, she has mentored student coordinators of OCS projects, hosted events for the community, and planned the best parties. Anyone who has worked with Diana knows how committed and enthusiastic she is about her job. To share this great news, I sat down and talked to Diana about her three years at Wesleyan, and reached out to some of her coworkers for their reflections. 

Obviously Diana has many fans in the office, but none come close to Snugs.

Obviously Diana has many fans in the office, but none come close to Snugs.

First, I asked “what do you remember from your first day?”

“I remember meeting Ying-Fei (her office-mate), and thinking we’d be friends forever” (editor’s note: so far so good) I remember meeting the Civic Engagement Fellow at the time, Jelisa, and knowing this was the right place for me.” 

When I asked her about her greatest accomplishment as the Coordinator, she had a hard time deciding, but said that mentoring students through their own challenges in their work, and being a part of their growth process is always the most rewarding. “I get to see people grow from year to year. My favorite part of my job is that I get to hang out with the best students on campus. They’re very engaged, super bright, and I know they will do big things when they leave Wesleyan.” – Diana 

It’s such a privilege to work with Diana.  She combines an infectious enthusiasm for community engagement with an all-seeing eye—she’s always aware of everything going on, and so always  able to supply students, staff, and faculty with the information they need to carry out their engagement work. – Rob Rosenthal


Getting ready for the conference.

This year, two of her biggest successes are: 

  • Facilitating planning with the Chamber of Commerce for the Career Expo, which marked a decade on campus last week. This included working with guidance counselors from high schools and local employers to bring hundreds of employers and thousands of students together to share opportunities. 
  • Serving for the past three years on the planning committee for CT Campus Compact for their student leadership conference. Wesleyan hosted this Social Justice Leadership Conference on campus this fall, and Diana was awarded the Cardinal Achievement Award for her contributions. 
Diana is an invaluable part of the JCCP team. Since her start here in 2013, she consistently takes a leadership role in campus and community life and develops opportunities to deeply engage Wesleyan undergraduates in civic life. She challenges students to think critically of their role in the community and is adept at developing mutually beneficial partnerships. As a Middletown resident and Wes alum, she brings great perspective to her work and I’m thrilled to acknowledge her accomplishments with this well-deserved promotion. – Cathy Lechowicz
From one of many parties Diana has thrown for her student groups.

From one of many parties Diana has thrown for her student groups.

A lot of what Diana contributes to the Office of Community Service is less public. She is most passionate about her work when she is helping other people, whether that means hosting a study break for OCS coordinators during finals, finding free food for students when they’re out of meal points, helping them create their schedules, using her lunch break to watch their thesis presentations, mentoring them through challenging situations, writing dozens of recommendations, or just finding small ways to remind her students that they are appreciated and cared for. 

Diana constantly goes out of her way to help people and does so with a lot of humor and humility.- Sara Wadlow


Plot twist: I felt great about it.

She is the kind of coworker who will drive you to New York so you can go to a conference, attend your events just to support you, or leave the best possible note on your desk -> 

Diana is the gold standard for our philosophy about partnerships. As a Wesleyan graduate, she knows what it’s like to be in students’ shoes, and she values their input and ensures that their voices are heard. As a Middletown resident and mother of two Middletown public school students, she is an engaged member of the community and an advocate for the City. Diana is an ambassador and an ally for both ‘town’ and ‘gown,’  and she is one of my role models for engagement work. – Makaela Kingsley

unnamedStudents who are lucky enough to attend a “Diana Martinez Party” will tell you that she knows how to celebrate. At the end of our conversation, I asked her what her best party theme was. After much deliberation, we finally decided on “Binge-Watch Master of None {and eat every food in the series},” during which we got together lots of students involved in community engagement on campus and did exactly that. 

We are all very excited for Diana and her next chapter at Wesleyan. Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion. Cheers to the next three years! 


Jennifer Roach is the Civic Engagement Fellow in Allbritton for the academic year 2015-2016. She is a recent Wesleyan alumni, class of 2014. Since graduating, she has moved to Hartford to continue developing Summer of Solutions Hartford, an urban farming internship program she worked on during her time at Wesleyan.