Theresa Martinez completed her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of New Mexico and is currently Associate Professor of Sociology and Assistant Vice President for Academic Outreach at the University of Utah. Her teaching and research deal with issues of race, class and gender, deviant behavior, juvenile delinquency, and popular culture. Professor Martinez has published articles in Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Spectrum, the Utah Law Review, and Race, Gender & Class: An Interdisciplinary Journal. In addition, she and Professor Marcia Texler Segal co-edited an anthology titled, Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class: Readings for a Changing Landscape (2007) published by Oxford University Press. Professor Martinez has won several teaching awards including the Distinguished University Teaching Award, the College Superior Teaching Award, and the Presidential Teaching Scholar Award. In the community, Professor Martinez has won the 1994 YWCA Leadership Award for Education, the 2002 Salt Lake City Mayor's Award for the Humanities, the 2005 Utah Coalition de La Raza Personal Achievement and Community Service Award, 2006 Renaissance Woman Award, and the 2010 Cesar Chavez Peace and Justice Award.
In her work as Assistant Vice President for Academic Outreach, Professor Martinez secured a $1 million grant through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to increase college access for underrepresented students to colleges and universities in the state of Utah. Currently, Professor Martinez collaborates on various projects including the Adelante Club U Science Camps, the Zions-ELI Scholarship Program, the Kids Court Program with the University of Utah College of Law and Rose Park Elementary School, and the Healthy Choices Program with the University of Utah College of Health and Riley Elementary School.
Professor Martinez currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Zions Bank as well as the Salt Lake Legal Defenders. She has appeared in Time magazine, the Miami Herald, and the New York Times, as well as on National Public Radio and 20/20: News Magazine.