When asked about changes she has seen at UNO since she came as a graduate student in 1978, and then as a counselor and advisor in 1984, Marti laughed with less-than-fond memories of registering for classes at the Field House, card in hand, hoping her wished-for classes would still be open when she got to the front of the line (Interview 2011). Technology has not only streamlined online registration, which she describes as “absolutely fantastic,” but has also brought distance education, web-based instruction, in-the-moment communication with peers and professors, and a wealth of information and resources to students’ fingertips (Interview 2012). She painfully recalls the days of writing papers on legal pads and agonizingly correcting typed copies with whiteout and erased carbon copies. Word processing, much less submitting a paper electronically, was unimaginable!
Marti has also witnessed a growing sense of community on campus throughout her time at UNO. An exciting change in campus culture came with the addition of residence halls, encouraging students to become more connected to the University and more involved in campus life. With residence halls on campus, the average age of UNO students has also changed. Since Marti’s arrival at UNO in 1984, she has seen the average age of students decline from a nontraditional twenty-seven years old to the early twenties, a more traditional college student age range.
Working with students in the Counseling Center, Marti has seen the same changes at UNO that are happening at colleges and universities across the country. Students are struggling with more severe mental health issues, particularly anxiety and depression. She also sees increased awareness and acknowledgment of social and relationship issues that can so easily derail academic and life goals, including sexual assault and intimate partner violence. Marti has given many community and campus-wide presentations and facilitated numerous workshops about suicide prevention, healthy relationships and sexuality, relationship violence, and other pressing issues in an ongoing effort to raise awareness. Serving as co-chair on the UNO Voices Against Violence Campaign, on the Chancellor’s Commission for Status of Women Sexual Harassment Task Force, on the GLBTQ Committee, and on many other committees and task forces, Marti has been a constant voice and tireless advocate for the health, safety, and success of UNO’s students. As challenging and sensitive as these issues are, Marti speaks with optimism about the collaborative campus-wide commitment to face discrimination, relationship violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and college student suicide head-on. She is a strong believer in prevention through education, open dialog, and creating safe places for students to thrive.
For her years of dedication to UNO, Marti has been honored with numerous awards. The FYE program, which was created under Marti’s leadership, earned the UNO Strategic Planning Award for Student Focus in 2005. In 1989, Marti was presented with an award from the Nebraska Professional Counseling Association for Outstanding Mental Health Counselor. During the 2000s, Marti’s incredible influence on UNO was particularly recognized; she earned an Excellence in Teaching Part-time Faculty Award from the UNO School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 2000; an Exemplary Service to Students Award from the UNO Project Achieve Program in 2005; a Woman of Wisdom Award from the Program for Women & Successful Aging in 2005; an Outstanding Achievement Award from the UNO Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of Women in 2009; and a Mary Ann Lamanna Award for Excellence in Women’s