Dominic F. Martinez, senior director of Office of Inclusion and Outreach, and Deidre Houston Magee, School of Medicine BA/BS to MD program, presented at the 26th Annual National Conference for Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE®) on June 1 in New Orleans.
Their presentation was Professional Pipeline Program and Partnerships: A Pathway to Increase Diversity. Martinez said they focused on how partnerships between community organizations and four-year institutions have long been established for the retention and persistence of students in professional and vocational programs.
“However, ” Martinez explained, “little emphasis has been placed on the creation of a sustainable community and four-year universities to professional programs.”
Their presentation highlighted and defined the need for collaboration between community organizations, four-year universities, and professional programs to create successful partnerships and programs for students. The University of Colorado’s Undergraduate Pre-Health Program (UPP) was offered as a model of a successful partnership.
Martinez on Polynesian immigrants in Mormon community
Martinez also participated June 7 in the Mormon History Association Conference in Layton, Utah. His presentation there was “Mormons in Colonized Spaces: The Pacific World and the North American West.”
His remarks “Iosepa, Utah: Reclaiming History through Connectedness.” discussed how in 1889, the Mormon Church established the Polynesians Mormon colony at Skull Valley in Tooele County, Utah. That community became known as Iosepa in honor of Joseph F. Smith, who had served multiple missions in the Hawaiian Islands. The immigration saw more than 200 Polynesians relocate to the colony.
Present day narratives about Iosepa convey a sense of the Polynesians’ relationship to this space.
Martinez argues “there are two dominant narratives that are present: First, the Mormon idea of a promised land and the symbolic pioneering journey or gathering movement carried out by the Church during the first few decades of its existence, and second, the Polynesians’ diasporic connection to Iosepa. What is unique about this space in history is that there is a powerful past history that place Polynesians within Mormon context and,now, an impactful lived history in which descendants and others are reclaiming history through a connectedness.”