Magdalena Martinez, Ph.D.

Director of Education Programs


Dr. Magdalena Martinez joined The Lincy Institute in September 2013 as the Director of Education Programs. Prior to UNLV, she served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education. In her role she was responsible for strengthening P-16 education partnerships and examining education policy in order to increase access, equity, and success for underrepresented student populations. As Assistant Vice Chancellor is was responsible for the successful development and implementation of statewide college access grants from the U.S. Department of Education (College Access Challenge Grant) and private grants (USA Funds). In addition she worked closely with the Nevada Department of Education to develop and implement the Nevada statewide GEAR UP grant ($21 million) which serves low-income students. Dr. Martinez experience also includes working at the National Forum of Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan. This initiative focuses on the role of higher education and the public good by examining the intersection of leadership and public policy. She contributed to the research, planning and implementation of multiple national dialogues which focused on issues related to postsecondary access, equity and student success. In addition, she served as a program evaluator for a three-year, W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded leadership program to prepare individuals for the presidency at Minority Serving Institutions (HBCUs, HSIs, TCUs).

In 2011, Dr. Martinez was an Equity & Policy Affiliate Fellow (Ford Foundation funded) in a partnership between the University of Southern California and Western Interstate Consortium in Higher Education.  Other professional experience includes serving as a community college administrator at the College of Southern Nevada and policy and management analyst at the City of Las Vegas.

Dr. Martinez’s research interests encompass three interconnected areas focused on student access and success for underrepresented students, the role of community colleges, leadership and public policy to increase postsecondary access and success. Dr. Martinez holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan, Master of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.

Fields of Expertise

  • Public Policy
  • Student Access and Success
  • Community Colleges
  • Leadership
  • Hispanic Serving Institutions