Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Assistant Provost for the First Year Experience/Associate Professor of Philosophy
Described as someone who “takes the initiative to educate, value, recognize, understand, appreciate and celebrate differences amongst people,” Miguel Martinez-Saenz, assistant provost for the First-Year Experience/associate professor of philosophy, has ensured that students leave his classes not only confident in the knowledge they’ve gained, but also prepared to live meaningful lives.
In addition to teaching courses in critical thinking, logic, philosophy of law, Latin American philosophy and the ethics of economic development, Martinez-Saenz has also team-taught such courses as Cultural Industry: German Intellectuals During the Rise of Nazism and Revolutions in Latin America, the latter of which he developed.
“In the classroom I am deeply committed to making philosophy relevant to the lives of students,” he says.
Martinez-Saenz has also led numerous service trips to Nicaragua with student groups to build houses in rural communities.
“This trip, as one might easily imagine, creates an invaluable learning experience,” he says.“At a minimum, it helps students develop a deeper sense of community across cultural divides by encouraging them to build lasting memories through a spirit of friendship and solidarity that transcends politics, economics and religion.”
Recipient of the first Faculty Diversity Award in 2004, initiator of multiple multicultural-centered programs with student organizations and an invited contributor to Wittenberg’s Emerging Leaders Program, Martinez-Saenz has consisently challenged students to understand more fully their ethical responsibilites as global citizens.
At the same time, Martinez-Saenz regularly seeks out ways to engage students, colleagues and the university community in issues related to the importance of multicultural education.
“My commitment in the areas of diversity and equity is also tied directly to my scholarship,” he explains.
Martinez-Saenz recently presented on “Diversity and Equity: Promoting Inclusive Excellence” for the chief academic officers of Southwestern Ohio Council on Higher Education, in which he clearly articulated the ways colleges and universities can work together to enact diverse learning environments.
“I attempt to articulate a vision that requires us to establish a community of discourse that enables us to grasp our particularity in ways that contribute to an understanding of the way in which we are all universally human. This coupled with my presentations on global citizenship and the liberal arts illustrates the ways I am working to incorporate global awareness with action.”
Living proof indeed that actions speak louder than words, Martinez-Saenz is also active in the local community, including serving as president of the Board for Think Tank Inc. and as the vice-president of the Board of Directors for Del Pueblo, two non-profit organizations committed to promoting social justice in Springfield/Clark County.
“Trying to make a positive impact on local communities is something that I value and something I hope to continue pursuing wherever I am living,” he says.
Martinez-Saenz received his B.A. in religion from Florida State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of South Florida. He joined the Wittenberg faculty in 2001.