SXU Music Alum Serves Saint Xavier Community and Beyond
Saint Xavier University (SXU) alum Luis Martinez '19 is working hard to make a difference in a variety of ways – serving the Saint Xavier community, teaching children the gift of music, supporting college students to guide them toward success, and giving back with his work on the National Alumni Board of Directors.
Martinez studied music performance at SXU, focusing on percussion with a jazz emphasis. While at Saint Xavier, he was working at Best Buy and became good friends with Mark Fruhwirth [SXU network analyst], who encouraged him to work for SXU's Information Technology Department. He served as a student worker from sophomore to senior year and returned soon after graduating.
"By the time I left SXU, Rola [Othman] couldn't part with me," laughs Martinez. "Though I worked briefly in a retirement home, I came back to SXU and have been there ever since."
Martinez's older brother, who's in the electrical engineering field, inspired Martinez's interest in technology. Martinez, who's always been curious, found that he excelled at learning about and helping to fix and maintain computers. His work with IT came naturally to him, and he thrives in his role as client services technician.
"I just really love helping people – being someone people can rely on. I enjoy the connection with the community and especially enjoy supporting IT's student workforce. I find a lot of fulfillment in guiding them through their career choices and providing community for them. I've even helped student workers complete resumes and practice interview questions. The warmth of the people at SXU is what keeps me here. I really feel I have a community I belong with," said Martinez.
In addition to his client services technician role at SXU, Martinez also teaches in-home music lessons to students from Oak Lawn Hometown Middle School and teaches students at Edge Music Academy, owned by fellow SXU alum Jason Thompson '16.
"I teach students how to be better and smarter musicians. I make a curriculum based on personal goals they have and put an emphasis on fun. I enjoy serving the diverse needs of the students," said Martinez.
Martinez was inspired to attend SXU by fellow alum Justin Antos '08, his high school music teacher, who encouraged Martinez to audition at Saint Xavier and get a music degree. It was there that his love for music really began to blossom. He enjoyed how fulfilled he felt when he practiced and was thrilled to pursue percussion studies at SXU, which opened up a new world of music for him and laid the foundation he needed to succeed.
"SXU really gave me the skills I needed to be a successful music teacher. Shawn [Salmon] directs the SXU-Southside Summer Jazz Camp each year, and as a student, I had the opportunity to teach drums. Annette [Adamus] would refer me to parents who were inquiring about music lessons for their kids. They helped me to develop entrepreneurial skills. I also took a class on music pedagogy, where I learned to create lesson plans and how to visualize goal-setting for students," said Martinez.
One of Martinez's favorite memories from his time at SXU was his senior recital. He and his girlfriend created posters ahead of time and plastered them all over campus. He was shocked and thrilled to see McGuire Hall was completely filled for his recital, and he found that the concert was the pinnacle of his music career at SXU.
Martinez has plenty of fond memories from his time as a student at SXU, especially going to Cougar football games, hanging out in the Wiseman Student Lounge and the music lounge, spending time with peers in the recording studio, and playing big events, like the President's Scholarship Ball.
Martinez enjoys his work on the Alumni Board for the philanthropic and service aspects.
"We have a lot of meetings and put together great events, like plans for Homecoming tailgates. We've written out cards to people in nursing homes and have also called them on the phone. It's wonderful to hear their stories. I also love speaking with fellow alumni and planning ways to serve the SXU community and support students," said Martinez.
Martinez looks forward to future work on the Alumni Board and hopes to advance in his position with SXU IT. His ultimate goal is to continue to serving students and helping them to find success.