Ultimate Balancing Act

Jun 12, 2023

Dr.Jennifer Marta’s work to serve Madera leadership while earning doctorate catches attention, earns SCCCD Classified Professional of the Year nomination

Jennifer Marta decided to see the positive side of change rather than get caught up in the unknown. 

In an academic year when she needed to be completely locked in, Marta was asked to take on a new role at Madera Community College, serving as Executive Assistant to President Dr. Angel Reyna. All this while she was finishing up her own pursuits for a doctoral degree. 

No pressure.

“I truly believe that things get presented to you when they should and that you take advantage of them when you can,” Marta said. 

It’s that can-do attitude and unwavering calm that her peers took notice of, leading Marta to being named as one of Madera Community College’s nominees for the State Center Community College District’s Classified Professional of the Year. 

The power of education is something the fourth-generation Fresno native became acquainted with at an early age. As a child, her mother ran an early childhood education program from their family home, which was a two-fold passion. Her mother wanted the young people she worked with to develop a strong educational base for the future, while also helping their parents understand how education could change their future. 

“(Those families) didn’t believe they could go back and get their degree or make something of themselves. They thought they needed to work at the chicken plant that’s by my house. She was a huge advocate and supporter of that,” Marta said. “I like to say I received my passion for not only early childhood development but education from her. She worked full-time and also raised a family while also getting her degrees as well. She’s a testament to that working.”

Marta’s personal educational journey has featured numerous stops in the SCCCD system, both as a student and staff member. She started working on her associates at Fresno City College, followed by time at Reedley College as a student aide and tutor, before taking a part-time job at Clovis Community College. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic raged in 2020, Marta transitioned to Madera for the chance to be the Instructional Administrative Assistant for Dr. Ganesan Srinivasa, Dean of Instruction for CTE and STEM. She has proudly worked in the role ever since. And along the way, others took notice. 

When the current Executive Assistant to President Reyna temporarily took on a new role for professional development, Marta was selected to fill the void until her return on an interim basis. 

While being asked to take on this new role, Marta was also finishing up years of work on her doctorate degree from UMass-Global. Her previous undergraduate and graduate studies centered on early childhood education, while her doctorate is in organizational leadership. 

The entire experience during the 2022-23 academic year has reinforced one thing – education is where her heart is and will always be. 

The newly minted Dr. Marta has aspirations of staying in the field, specifically in the Fresno area, to help other young people on their own educational journey. She’s seen the power learning can have and wants others to see its rewards for themselves. 

And that’s why Marta finds her nomination for Classified Professional of the Year a bit surprising. After years being surrounded by educational professionals who helped set the foundation for her, Marta is simply doing what comes naturally. She’s grateful that others took notice of her work but hopes her colleagues are fortunate enough to be noticed for their hard work one day soon. 

“I know that many other people on campus do the same things as well – they just maybe weren’t nominated. But we have so many individuals on campus who are doing amazing work," Marta said. "(The work I do), it’s just part of my nature to do those things and be open and welcoming. I feel very appreciative and grateful that I was nominated by someone who recognized me for that."

Thank you Jennifer and all of our Classified Professionals for the amazing work you do!

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