The College of Business Administration is strengthening its commitment to social justice and representation with the appointment of Patricia Martínez as its inaugural associate dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. Since joining LMU in 2005, Patricia has been an integral member of the management faculty, with diversity a common theme in her teaching, research and professional pursuits.
“Patricia is a lifelong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and was a natural fit for this role,” said CBA Dean Dayle Smith. “I have no doubt in my mind she will make an enormous impact spearheading this critical work for the college and our community.”
For over 30 years, Patricia has held leadership and advisory positions in multiple DEI programs and initiatives that focus on the educational and career attainment of underrepresented minorities at the undergraduate, MBA and doctoral level. The organization that has made the biggest impact on her life and career is The PhD Project, which helps students from historically underrepresented backgrounds attain their business PhD. Patricia has been involved with The PhD Project since 1995 – as a student representative, a member of various committees and a faculty advisor to the Management Doctoral Students Association.
“I credit The PhD Project with putting me on this career path because as a first-generation college student, it was a totally foreign opportunity,” she said. “This has been my motivation to remain involved and work toward diversifying the professoriate.”
After a few rocky years in which Patricia dealt with several personal issues including a battle with breast cancer, the timing was right for her to step into this new DEI-focused role.
“I could not be more grateful for this opportunity and appreciate the vote of confidence by CBA leadership,” said Patricia. “We’ve come a long way but there is still much work to be done.”
Her two biggest priorities for this year are faculty hiring and student engagement. As CBA continues to grow its faculty across disciplines, Patricia is evaluating the current processes and guidelines in place to see where improvements can be made to ensure the college has the best chance of recruiting a diverse pool of candidates. She’s also looking at how CBA can expand and adopt rank-and-tenure standards that better recognize faculty contributions for DEI. This is an important step for strengthening alignment between faculty contributions and the LMU mission.
Patricia is also working alongside CBA’s student engagement directors to strengthen the network and offer more opportunities and programming for minority students. Patricia is faculty advisor to the newly relaunched Latinx Business Association, an organization that is near and dear to her heart. She served as president of the Latino Business Student Association as an undergraduate student. Patricia will keep her ears open to students’ needs and envisions the possibility of similar associations for Black and Asian and Pacific Islander business students, faculty, staff and alumni.
A native Angeleno, Patricia earned a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from UC Irvine and a B.S. in management & human resources with a minor in information systems from Cal Poly Pomona. She has held leadership positions in the Western Academy of Management (WAM) and Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education (CJBE). In addition, Patricia serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Management Inquiry and Management Research, and recently started as editor of the Journal of Jesuit Business Education.
Patricia’s areas of expertise include topics in organizational behavior, human resource management, and diversity and inclusivity. She’s currently leading a team of scholars focused on the concept of “ethnic citizenship behaviors,” which examines how ethnic identity may drive voluntary, discretionary helping behaviors that are targeted at similar others, and which in total, benefit the organization in areas such as career development, recruitment and retention.