Young Alumna Makes Immediate Impact

By Savannah Hoag, Alumni Association communications intern

Editor’s note: In honor of the more than 5,000 new graduates who joined our alumni family last weekend, we’re spotlighting young alumni who are making an immediate difference in the world. This month, we focus on Luna Martinez, a FEMA Corps member working in Puerto Rico. 

Luna Martinez (B.S., ’17), a new member of the alumni family who is already making a difference through hurricane relief in Puerto Rico, shows her love of Colorado State University whenever and wherever she goes.

Originally from New Mexico, Martinez grew up an honorary Ram with about four members of her family attending CSU. These influences led her to move from home, a scary feat for many, to pursue a degree in environmental health.

“I knew I wanted to go (to CSU) since I was about ten,” Martinez said. “I transferred to CSU after going to Front Range Community College to get residency and then transferred into the environmental health program.”

CSU’s inclusive atmosphere is unmatched, according to Martinez. She remembers her time in the environmental health program, and in the CSU community in general, as an extremely positive experience.

Martinez is stationed in Puerto Rico as a member of FEMA Corps, a unique partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and AmeriCorps that provides an opportunity for people who share a passion for service to help strengthen the federal government’s response to natural and man-made disasters. Her team role as a learning service initiator means she facilitates activities with her team members to connect them more deeply with the work they are doing in the community.

Martinez (far right) and her team in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, where they provided security for the Festival Tinglar, an educational event for the area focused on the leatherback sea turtle and other marine life conservation.

“I’m working with other staff and her team as individuals,” Martinez said. “I want to connect with the community so my team can know that we’re making a difference because it makes the work more meaningful and creates a vibrancy and motivation for us every day.”

Martinez’s time at CSU prepared her for the extensive work hours demanded by the type of work she does in AmeriCorps. And she credits her program in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences with providing her with the skills and knowledge to contribute to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

She remembers her time at CSU as some of her favorite years and hopes to return after her AmeriCorps service term. She wants everyone to see her Ram Pride; no matter what part of the world she’s doing work in.

“I am a very proud Ram everywhere I go,” Martinez said.