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Maria Martinez - Southern Utah University. Cedar City, UT, US

Maria Martinez Maria Martinez

Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion | Southern Utah University


On World Refugee Day, Martinez encouraged us to speak out against injustice and urge leaders to govern with compassion in this crucial time.



Maria Martinez is the director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Utah University. She leads the center with her passion for college access and success for historically underrepresented and marginalized communities. She oversees the centers multicultural clubs and continually works to create programming to validate the multiple identities of students on campus.

Previously Martinez served in the Commissioner’s office as the College Access Manager for the Utah System of Higher Education. She led the state's college access initiatives including oversight of the College Access Network of Utah and Utah’s College Application Week program.

Martinez is native of Salt Lake City’s Westside with roots in Chihuahua, Mexico. She is an alumna of the University of Utah where she completed her ungraduated work in Mass Communication and International Studies and her graduate work in Educational Leadership and Policy.





Maria Martinez, Southern Utah University loading image Maria Martinez and SUU Center for Diversity and Inclusion Staff loading image



Industry Expertise (1)


Areas of Expertise (14)

Student Development and Engagement Higher Education Access for Underrepresented Communities Multicultural Student Affairs in Higher Education Undocumented Students Student Leadership Social Justice Program Evaluation Public Speaking Multicultural Student Affairs Community Outreach Racial & Ethnic Identity Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Undocumented Students in Higher Education Racial and Ethnic Identity in University Students

Accomplishments (2)

Innovative Program Award (professional)

For Undocumented Student Ally Program, NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, 2017

SUU Student Voice Award

2017, 2018

Education (2)

University of Utah: M.Ed., Educational Leadership and Policy

University of Utah: B.A., Mass Communication

Affiliations (4)

  • College Access Network of Utah
  • Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Student Assessment and Intervention Team, SUU

Languages (1)

  • Spanish

Media Appearances (4)

Appreciation or Appropriation? Tips for Staying Culturally Sensitive When Dressing in Costume

KSL News  online


"Students wanted to send a reminder because they do feel disrespected when someone shows up in a costume that represents their culture, particularly when it's an inaccurate stereotype,” SUU’s director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, Maria Martinez, told the Associated Press.

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Growing diversity and inclusion at SUU

Iron County Today  online


“SUU is committed to fostering an inclusive community and we are taking the right steps here,” said Martinez.

At the Center for Diversity and Inclusion (CDI) at Southern Utah University, it is director Maria Martinez’s task to validate multiple identity students while ‘integrating the experiences’ of marginalized people. She is the director of the office, which includes one full-time coordinator and four Beacons (part-time student leaders/mentors).

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Southern Utah University Campaign Calls Out Offensive Halloween Costumes

The Salt Lake Tribune  online


Center director Maria Martinez said in a statement the campaign is intended to start a dialogue about cultural appropriation on the Cedar City campus.

“We don’t want to perpetuate the culturally inaccurate stereotype,” Martinez said. “I think this campaign gives the underrepresented and marginalized students a voice to speak out.”

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SUU Launches "My Culture is Not a Costume" Campaign

Good4Utah  tv


A Halloween campaign is getting attention on Southern Utah Universities campus - posters are hanging to help people understand what is and isn't offensive when it comes to dressing up for Halloween.

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