Deptford Twp. – Prominently displayed in the center of Dr. Linda Martin’s office is a sign that reads “Because Nice Matters” — words she lives by. From a nursing student who progressed to vice president of academic services, Martin recounts several events in her life when this mantra has guided her and resulted in successful outcomes throughout her career.
“Both nursing and education are giving professions,” said Martin. “I have approached all of my patients and students with respect and focus on the individual.”
Stressing the importance of obtaining a degree, she stated “life happens.” She knows all too well that people go through difficult times and educational aspirations may be placed on hold for a year or two, sometimes even longer.
“By continuing to move toward your goal, self-discovery can be realized, positive affirmation gained and success ultimately recognized,” she continued.
Resilient when faced with adversity, Martin completed nursing school as a nurse’s aide and graduated with her B.S.N. from Trenton State College. She raised her son while working a 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. shift and completed her master’s degree at Rutgers-Newark. She then began the rewarding profession of teaching. Suffering the loss of her husband and left to raise her son on her own, she continued her studies one class at a time. Today, she proudly holds a doctorate of education from Nova Southeastern University.
Looking for opportunities to move to administration, Martin took the position of director of nursing education at Mercer County Community College. She then began to organize a chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) at Mercer County. The AAWCC is a national organization designed to change and improve the lives of working professionals at community colleges, as well as residents of the community. Fostering the success of women is an important goal of the AAWCC, as they provide a critical perspective in the workplace.
It was through this organization that Martin was first introduced to GCC. She visited the College last year to acknowledge the induction of GCC as a new chapter. When the College’s long-time Associate Professor and Provost John Henzy announced his retirement, the College had a void to fill. After an arduous search for a replacement, Martin emerged as the perfect candidate.
As the new vice president of academics, her top priority is to create pathways for each individual, matching their goals to the programs offered. A gradual and individualized method is her strategy for a successful academic career beginning with certificates and associate degrees, and then moving on to an advanced degree. In her new position, Martin plans to expand GCC’s current online options and in the near future offer online degrees.
“Academic degrees should not seem unattainable. There is no age limit to enroll or timeframe for completion,” she said.
Moreover, Martin also believes there is no age limit to embracing new hobbies and interests. She and her finance, Larry, have traveled as far as South Dakota and Nova Scotia sight-seeing by motorcycle.
Many would agree with the statement “nice matters” but how many people live it? Martin does and she has nicely incorporated it into her day-to-day operations as vice president of academic services. Interacting with GCC faculty, staff and students, Martin hopes to continue to inspire and motivate each individual at the College to achieve their educational goals.
Gloucester County College’s 250-acre campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.