College of Fine Arts
Years at UNLV: 13
Immediate family: Son, Alex Rodriguez, and daughter, Alexandra Rodriguez; brother Mario Martin
Delia Martin is known in the college for being exceptionally practical. She is often the go-to person for problem-solving anything from employment questions to department events and general business.
What trait do you most like about yourself?
Integrity. It is important to me to have moral and ethical convictions and doing the right thing in all circumstances, even if no one is watching me. Integrity means to be truthful to myself, and I would do nothing that demeans or dishonors me. The most important principle of leadership is dependent on integrity because it demands truthfulness and honesty, telling the truth even if the truth is ugly. Better to be honest than to delude others, because then you are probably deluding yourself, too.
What trait would you like to change?
Lately, I have been working on a mantra that a graduate student shared with me: “Pace yourself.” I feel that it has improved my productivity. Before, I used to work straight with no breaks between meetings or projects. I understand now that it is important to take a break – breathe, go for a walk – to come into the next project or meeting with a clear mind.
Tell us about a woman who’s been a mentor to you.
I have two mentors at UNLV. One, Carmen Willis, business manager for the College of Engineering. I started working with her in 2006 as a student worker, and I appreciate her intelligence and everything she shared with me.
My previous business manager, Karen Spica, was the one who hired me in 2006 to work for her as an AAIII in Fine Arts. She passed away in 2012, and I credit her teaching me a lot about how to do business. Things, of course, have changed. Things are always changing, but she taught me there is always a right way to approach transitions and changes.
In a moment when my personal life needed a shift, UNLV opened the doors to me and has given me so much since then. I was new to Las Vegas in 2006, and UNLV gave me my first job. Then, I was able to receive benefits, most importantly, the grant-in-aid, and with that, a career and a degree. Both of my children were able to received grant-in -aid. My son just graduated with a BS in graphic design in December and my daughter is graduating with a BS in accounting this upcoming May.
How did you become good at what you do?
To answer this, I have to quote Oprah Winfrey: “Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” I’ve learned over the years that getting to where you want to go, you must show initiative and share your ideas when it comes to problem-solving.
- Don’t be afraid to speak up and/or ask questions.
- It is important to keep up with innovations.
- Networking to exchange information among peers and colleagues to cultivate productive business relationships.
- Stay professional at all times.
- Be involved with outside unit activities.
- Attend conferences, seminars, and campus trainings to keep improving your skills and learn new ways.
- Maintain a positive attitude and don’t take it personally.
If you could have any other job on campus, whose or what would it be?
I would like to be the first female Latina chief of staff/assistant to the president or provost. I’ve always dreamed of doing that job, and someday, I’m going to do it!
Who is an unsung hero at UNLV?
Wow! The list is countless. There are many unsung heroes at UNLV. In order to be successful at what I do I have many colleagues who collaborate with me to have successful outcomes. This spotlight should go to all of them. Doing this job is like a puzzle. Everyone puts in a piece to make the puzzle complete.
You just won Megabucks and want to give back to the university. What would you support and why?
First, I would like to create free childcare for single mothers who are full-time employees and many of them also go to school to better their careers. Second, I will support [College of Fine Arts] Dean Nancy Uscher in the construction of a new art building. I would like for future art students to have the opportunity of having more studio space and galleries to be able to exhibit their work. Lastly, I will also give a scholarship to students in need and scholarships to the Jean Nidetch Women’s Center, which graciously honored me with my first scholarship as a college student.
What UNLV head-scratcher do you wish you knew the answer to?
Why policies and procedures are not the same across campus.
If you could learn to master one thing, what would it be?
I think it will be another language. During my career I have been through so many changes, and I have always been able to master new technology, programs, and policies, but a new language is a little more difficult because you need someone to practice with.
What did you do the last time you took time off?
Last August, I took a week vacation to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday in Florida. It was the first time I took a week off while students are on campus. We had family from all around the world arrive to celebrate the wonderful life of a great person who I have admired from the moment I was born.
Are you a dog person, cat person, or something else?
It is funny you ask this question. If you would have asked me this question three years ago I would not know what to answer, but my children got me to accept a dog in our house for each of them. Today I consider my self a dog lover, we have a pitbull named Gringo and a Maltese named Charlie. I am waiting for my daughter to graduate and expand her horizons, and then I will be ready for my own dog, a golden retriever.
Any advice for young women starting careers on campus?
Open your eyes to new growth opportunities when they present themselves because it is the key to learning and growing. You may feel that you are new and you may not be ready but always take new challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – it is what differentiates women from men. Take control and own your professional path by advocating for your own interests.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
That I am really a blonde. Haha! No, I am just sarcastic. I am professional at times at work, so it might surprise people I actually have a sense of humor.