Dr. Valeria A. Martinez, assistant professor of finance at Fairfield University, receives first Dolan School Excellence in Teaching Award



Image: Valeria MartinezPraised for her engaging teaching methods, full grasp of her subject matter and an office door that is always open, Valeria A. Martinez, Ph.D., assistant professor of finance at Fairfield University, was selected the recipient of the Dolan School of Business's first annual Excellence in Teaching Award. The award is determined by nominations made by students who consider a professor's effectiveness in the classroom, interaction and embodiment of Jesuit ideals.

Before becoming an educator, Dr. Martinez, a resident of Fairfield who was born and raised in Mexico City, worked for various financial institutions, including Merrill Lynch, the National Banking and Securities Commission in Mexico City, and the finance department of the City of San Antonio, Texas.

Her love for learning and teaching drew her to the classroom, though. In 2003, she began her pursuit of a Ph.D. in finance at the University of Texas in San Antonio. In 2007, she joined the Fairfield University faculty upon completion of her doctoral work. Her research focuses mainly on international investments and market microstructure.

Neeraj Ahuja '11, a student from India who is pursuing an M.S. in finance, has found that Dr. Martinez knows her subject "to the core," stressing that classroom instruction is strengthened by both her academic and financial industry experience. "This makes her teaching method wonderful," said Ahuja, president of the Dolan Graduate Business Association.

For Susan Serven '11, a graduate student from New Canaan, Conn., new to the study of finance, a course in corporate bond pricing, risk analysis and capital structure could have been quite daunting. "But Dr. Martinez has made each concept easy to understand," she said.

She's known to offer unfettered opinions on "extra-curricular" topics, such as job hunting. "I believe most of her students know that Dr. Martinez's door is always open," Serven added.

For those reasons, Norm Solomon, Ph.D., dean of the Dolan School of Business, said it is clear that she is committed to the Jesuit tradition of educating the 'whole' person. "Dr. Martinez tends to a student's needs, both inside and outside the classroom."

Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business has been named an outstanding business school by the Princeton Review - the fifth time in a row it has been included among an impressive nationwide list of graduate business programs. The school's inclusion on the list was based on feedback from Fairfield business students.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on May 12, 2010

Vol. 42, No. 292