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Staff Spotlight: Nick Martinez 

nick staff spotlight

Nicholas Martinez is the Student Assistant for the Community and Regional Planning Center (CRPC) at OCED. He is currently in his first semester as a transfer student to Fresno State, studying City and Regional Planning.

Tell us about your professional background.

I’m a new transfer to Fresno State and I’m pursuing my Bachelor’s in City and Regional Planning. Before transferring, I spent a few years at Fresno City College exploring and growing. It was there that I learned of anthropology, and this has forever shaped me. At the time, I was working part-time as a pizza delivery driver, which ultimately led me to the field of urban planning. In 2016, I was a campaign assistant to elect Gwen Morris who I have looked to for professional and personal guidance. Up until this past spring, I was enrolled in courses at FCC in drafting and visual anthropology. One day at the end of the semester, I visited the Chair of the Geography and City & Regional Planning Department at Fresno State in search of an internship. It was this interaction that led me to OCED, where recent graduate Valerie Binion and I volunteered our time at the office during the summer months.

I saw the volunteer opportunity as one that could eventually lead me to another, figurative door. Prior to coming to OCED, I felt I arrived at a personal plateau of sorts and was feeling anxious about what to do with my time as I awaited the fall semester. I had no way of predicting that this opportunity would turn into what it is today, but I am extremely grateful to everyone at OCED, as they have been more than helpful and have made me feel welcome.

Who inspires you?

I am really inspired by my parents and my close friends, Sean and Emily. We have all left a mark on one another and I look to them for guidance when things get rough and vice-versa. On a larger scale, I am inspired by the people who conquer their fears and push themselves outside of their comfort zones to achieve what they want.

What was the best concert you've ever attended?

One of the best concerts I’ve attended was the first time I saw Erykah Badu in Santa Ana a few years ago. I had just moved to the Central Coast and embarked on the drive from Pismo Beach to Los Angeles all by myself in my ‘95 Jeep Wrangler. It was quite a trip, it was my first time taking the Pacific Coast Highway that far south and I really enjoyed myself. Sometimes it’s nice to travel solo, you really are able to test your limits if you allow yourself to take the first step.

What's the last book you read?

I’m bad; I have about three books I’m working on right now. The last book I read was “How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe” by Charles Yu. It was a fun read and had a good message about the importance of living in the present moment. Currently, I’m working on a few books for school but I’m slowly making my way through “Sophie’s World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy” by Jostein Gaarder. It follows a young girl, Sophie, and a mysterious philosopher who teaches her about philosophy via packages delivered by hand to her mailbox. It’s an interesting read.

What's your favorite local meal?

Hard to choose just one! I really enjoy anything off the menu at India’s Oven on Ashlan and Marks in Fresno. They have some of the best vegetable samosas I’ve ever had. I usually order their aloo gobi, garlic naan and of course an order of samosas. Another one of my favorites is the pineapple fried rice with chicken from Keothip.