January 25, 2002

Martina Peinado Named Southwestern College Employee of the Quarter

Martina Peinado says, "I was hatched here," as a way to illustrate the scope of her connection to Southwestern College. Each year since 1997, in her capacity as CalWORKS program technician, Martina has assisted more than 700 CalWORKS students transition from welfare to work. However, her Southwestern College history began in 1986 when she became a student worker assigned to the Division of Engineering and Technical Studies. Later, as an hourly worker, she worked for Business and Operations, Admissions, ROP, Customized Training, and the Women's Resource Center. Along the way she has worked in almost every area of the campus. Among her most rewarding accomplishments was setting up "well-oiled" systems for new start-up programs such as the Border Environmental Commerce Resource Center, and CalWORKS.

After earning an associate degree in architectural technology, Martina received a bachelor's degree in public administration at SDSU. As the eldest of eight children, her route to the bachelor's degree took nine years while she was working nearly full-time, and coping with the loss of her parents. She is now pursuing a master's degree in education with emphasis in multi-cultural counseling. Her desire is to eventually serve Southwestern College students as a personal development and career counselor.

Martina's coworkers use adjectives like, "knowledgeable, organized, efficient, caring, considerate, friendly, detail oriented, deadline oriented" to describe her. "One of Martina's special gifts is her genuine concern about others... she is also very loyal to the college, her coworkers and her "bosses."

It is characteristic that Martina is quick to credit her SWC mentors for their positive influence in her professional development. She says that "LoEtta Challis, Bertha Govea and Toni Mendoza molded me and are my examples of good employees." Martina Peinado is, in turn, becoming a role model for the next generation of Southwestern's "best and brightest."

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