Mina Martínez, BSW ’18, has been selected by her peers as commencement speaker.

Hometown: Celeya, Guanajuato, Mexico

Why social work? Social work encompassed everything that I wanted to do in terms of helping others. It’s such a broad major that I’m able to work from one end of the spectrum to another. I am a transfer student, I was pre-med, then nursing. It was during a break that I learned about social work from an adviser at Austin Community College.

Favorite experience at UT Austin: The people that I’ve met. Also, the professors I’ve had were amazing, welcoming, and able to change a lot of my biases.

Most challenging time on the Forty Acres: The field placement experience is time-consuming, we have to be there for a very long time during each week. You get your limits tested when it comes to trying to fit in every aspect of your life into every day.

Best social work internship moment:  I’m at Focused Care at Stonebriar, which serves people older than 30, with many physical, emotional, and cognitive needs. We serve such a vulnerable population that I was able to really grasp the need for social workers. My favorite part of the internship is the people I’ve met. I adored my supervisor, Christina Landeros, who graduated with her social work degree from UT Austin. She was so welcoming and was able to grasp my skills and understand my limitations. She was great at giving and receiving feedback, and processing the difficulties I faced in the field.

Favorite professor: If I had to pick one, it would have to be Shane Whalley. I took Shane’s Intro to Social Work course, and it was such a great start to my experience at UT. Hirs was my first class on my first day here. Shane was amazing in how ze views the world, and it’s a goal for me to do the same.

Plans for the future: I’m most likely going to stay working in the medical social work field, then I’ll come back to UT for a master’s in social work.

Words of wisdom for the incoming class: Prepare for having your biases, limitations, and views completely shift to help you understand why social workers are such an important part of the world.

Posted December 3, 2018.