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PJ Martinez

Age: 33

Business: Abilene Christian University

Job title: Associate Dean of Student Engagement


Why are you working in this industry? 

My extracurricular experiences and the people I met during my time at Baylor molded me into who I am today. When I learned that there were university administrators (my mentors) who were dedicated to making these experiences happen, I knew I wanted to do the same. I get to create experiences in which people find community, belonging and self development. I really enjoy making people happy. This is why I do what I do.


What are three daily habits that have helped you to become successful? 

  • A warm greeting and welcome to those in the office helps start the day off well.

  • Setting a daily to-do list allows me to be productive.

  • Asking “What do you need from me?” brings trust and support to my people.


Who is the person who most influenced you in business? 

Dr. Tim Alvarez, AVP at the University of Nebraska. He was my mentor and supervisor in graduate school. He showed me how to listen to the people; celebrate the wins (big and small); and learn new things. When asked if he was having a good day, his response was this: “All my days are good. Some are just better than others.” I try to live by that same mantra, especially in higher education.


What is the best advice you have ever received? 

Treat all people in the various positions with warmth and respect. Acknowledgement and friendly conversation truly goes a long way. It allows people to feel valued and appreciated.


What changes have you seen in Abilene during your career? What changes would you like to see?

I lived in a bubble while growing up in Clyde and didn’t really experience the true Abilene until my family and I moved back 3 years ago. Being involved and seeing what Abilene has done/is doing truly makes me proud to live here. The work that organizations in Abilene are doing for the community and their people is a fascinating thing to see. I love that my family can be part of these new things and experience all Abilene has to offer!


What was your first summer job?

Moving furniture at Happy Trails Furniture in Clyde, TX


Describe yourself in one word: 


Community Involvement:

  • Abilene Chamber of Commerce (Leadership Abilene Class of 2023)

  • Abilene Young Professionals - Steering Committee; Member

  • Big Country CASA - Board Member (2022 - current)

  • Community Foundation of Abilene - Grant Review Committee

  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators - Region 3 Board; Member

  • The Well Abilene - Member

  • United Way of Abilene - Loaned Executive; Cabinet; Volunteer



Kristen (wife)

Wiley (daughter - 4 years old)

Mila (daughter - 2 years old)

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