New Associate Director of Admissions

Peter Martinez was hired in October as the Associate Director in the Office of Admissions. The position was vacated in fall 2013 when Rocky Raquel retired.

Photo of Peter MartinezMartinez is a graduate of California State University, Fresno, where he earned a degree in liberal studies. His educational plans are to obtain a master’s degree and a PhD in education or business in the next 10 years.

His passion for education began in the third grade when his teacher, Sandra Montemayor, made an incredible impression on him, inspiring him to look to a career in education. She taught him the meaning of learning and the desire to share the importance of education with others.  To this day, Martinez still reaches out to Montemayor, who still teaches in the same school district.

“Sandra taught me that education was more than teaching others how to do mathematics, reading English, or any other subject within the realm of education,” Martinez said.  “It is about the art of helping people reach their full potential, to grow their imaginations, to look at others with open-minds, and always putting other’s needs above our own.”

Montemayor was overjoyed to learn that the student she had inspired so many years ago had been hired as the associate director in the Office of Admissions at the second oldest campus in the CSU system. 

“Sandra may have been my inspiration to work in higher education, but my parents drove me to be the man I am today,” Martinez said.

Although his father passed away of Alzheimer's in 2007, Martinez can still hear the life lessons his father taught him growing up.

“I gained my tireless work ethic and teamwork attitude at a young age from my father,” Martinez said. “My mother taught me to continually show love and compassion to everyone that is placed in front of me.”

Martinez still remembers waking up at 4 a.m. during the summers to go work in the fields. This was a lesson that even the simplest jobs had purpose. His parents worked together managing a work crew of over 60 people throughout the year. They both shared their tested methods of building a successful team with Martinez and his siblings, in addition to how to motivate people to give all they have to their job.

His parents modeled an ethical lifestyle focused on caring for all people, no matter how difficult their situations, back stories, or even personalities. A memory that sticks in Martinez’s mind is the smell of Chinese food from the Tea Garden Restaurant in Sanger, California. His parents would treat their entire team to a meal. The laughter, respect, and love for them as leaders echoed throughout the restaurant as they took it over for the evening. Each day, Martinez strives to earn the same level of love, respect, and dedication from his teams that his parents earned all those years ago from theirs.

During Martinez’s first year of college, he worked for Fresno State's Outreach Services. He was hired during his freshmen year (1998) as a student assistant, but he quickly transitioned to a tour guide, followed by a stint as a tele-counselor, an ambassador, and then finally as a student services professional.

He achieved his childhood dream of becoming a kindergarten teacher after graduating from Fresno State in 2002, but the draw of higher education was too strong. In late 2002, he returned to Fresno State as an outreach counselor.

After eight years at Fresno State as a student services professional II, Martinez was encouraged by his mentors to focus on achieving greater milestones within higher education. Which, at that time, meant leaving Fresno State.

He went to work for All Management Corporation (Career & College Clubs and Reaching All Youth), an educational non-profit located in Los Angeles. Martinez was a leader in creating college readiness curriculum and program models that were used across California.  He conducted specialized trainings, participated on committees, and built a network of support for college- and career-going cultural change across the K-12 landscape. This experience allowed him to travel across the United States working, teaching, and helping thousands of students and educational professionals achieve their dreams of obtaining a college education, which provides opportunities for promising career paths.

One day his family presented Martinez with a request that would change their lives. They wanted a change of scenery, access to better schools, opportunities for a broader range of family experiences, his wife was ready to go back to college, and they wanted him to move on to the next stage of his career. That request led the family to start a new chapter in Chico which has already fulfilled several areas of the request.

Image of Mr. and Mrs. MartinezMartinez has been married for over 10 years to his lovely wife, Tonna. They met while he was studying at his favorite Fresno coffee shop. After a 2-hour conversation, they went their separate ways.  Fortuitously, they met up again six months later at Reggae Night in the Fresno Tower District and have never looked back. 

They now have an 8-year-old son, Zion, who is a ball of energy and has become a leader within Cub Scouts, and an 11-year-old daughter, Trenity, who is becoming a friend to all the girls within her new Girl Scout den.

Photo of Martinez kidsMartinez’s family is connecting with their new community by involving themselves in church activities, volunteering for charities, and finding ways to support the children’s schools.  They love nature and often travel across the state enjoying the beautiful California sites.

The family's two favorite locations are Pismo Beach and Yosemite National Park, where they spend nights camping under the stars on beautiful brushed dunes or surrounded by the lush forests.

When you have the chance, stop in and welcome Martinez to Chico State and he will fill you in on his hobbies and volunteer work he and his family have undertaken since they arrived in Chico.