Martha Lopez is an academic advisor in the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences’ Department of Psychological Sciences. Lopez thrives in the college’s academic environment, helping students understand their career options and successfully navigate their time at Purdue. Lopez was born in Puerto Rico, and her family is originally from Cuba, and she noted that Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15-Oct. 15) offers a great opportunity for learning more about the diversity that exists across Hispanic cultures.
What is your current role and responsibilities at Purdue?
My current role at Purdue is academic advisor in the College of Health and Human Sciences. I advise students in the psychological sciences and brain and behavioral sciences majors.
Why is this career path a good fit for you?
Being an academic advisor is a good career path for me because ever since I was little, I loved school. I loved being able to buy school supplies and learn as much as I could. As I grew, that passion also grew. This career path has combined my passions for education and helping people into one.
What is the most rewarding part of your career?
The most rewarding part of my career is knowing that I am making a difference in a student’s life and seeing the students grow from the moment I meet them to the moment they graduate. I always say that college is the time where you learn who you are and who you want to be, and I am glad I get to experience that with my students.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
My proudest professional accomplishment was in my previous role at Florida International University. A student called me the day before she was supposed to graduate, and she was very worried because she was having issues submitting her last final. I was able to help her get in touch with her professor and explain to the professor what happened. The professor was able to reopen her final, and the student was able to submit. She passed her class and invited me to attend her graduation. The student was so grateful for my assistance. At that moment, I knew I had a love for higher education.
What do you think is important for people to know about Hispanic Heritage Month?
I think it is important for people to know about the breadth of Hispanic Heritage Month because many people do not know all the different types of Latinos there are. I was born in Puerto Rico, and my family is originally from Cuba. Personally, I am very pale and have light eyes. When people look at me, they do not believe I am Hispanic until I start talking in Spanish. I think Hispanic Heritage Month is the perfect time to show that “Hispanic” is not just one category of people. Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to show all the different types of Hispanic people and what makes every culture unique.
Written by: Rebecca Hoffa, firstname.lastname@example.org