Written by Emily Bonoyer
The Jerry G. Gaff Faculty Award is given annually to those who have demonstrated leadership on their campuses in the area of general and liberal education; who have shown evidence of outstanding teaching in general and liberal education courses; and who have a record of achievement in curriculum development, innovation, or implementation in general and liberal education. The award is named for Jerry Gaff, senior scholar at the American Association of Colleges and Universities and a respected advocate for general and liberal education for more than 30 years.
Martin was nominated for her demonstrated leadership at Eastern in the area of general and liberal education. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in sociology at Emmanuel College; a master of science in social work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis; and her doctorate in social policy from Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies in Social Welfare Policy at Brandeis University.
"During the two years of Liberal Arts Core development, Dr. Martin gained enormous respect from the Eastern faculty and administration, and especially from those of us who worked closely with her," said Charles Booth, general education program committee member and professor of biology, in his letter of nomination. "She is not a force to be reckoned with; rather, she is a consensus builder with a low-key, gently persuasive personality."
"Dr. Martin spent hundreds and hundreds of hours and invested great intellectual and emotional energy in the development of Eastern's Liberal Arts Core," said Rhona Free, vice president for academic affairs in her letter of nomination. "She collaborated, coaxed, compromised and ultimately succeeded in gaining approval for a program that was much more innovative and ambitious than could have been hoped."
Martin has been on several committees at Eastern including the Committee on the Future of Eastern; the ad-hoc committee of the first-year program and student affairs; budget and resource allocation committee; peace and humans rights committee; committee on the liberal arts; and the minority recruitment and retention committee. She is also the chair of the liberal arts program committee and general education program committee.