Berenice Martinez, Master in Arts in Experimental Psychology ’11
Where are you originally from?
I was born in Brownsville, Texas. I lived in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico until the age of 10. At 10 years old, my family moved to Mercedes, Texas where I currently live.
What are you doing now?
I am a current employee at the Rio Grande State Center developing the role of Behavior Analyst as part of the Psychology Department. As a Behavior Analyst, my role is to run, train, and develop Structural and Functional Assessments in conjunction with Positive Behavior Support Plans. These plans and assessments provide detailed information including prevention, teaching, and dealing with problem behavior strategies for severe problem behaviors with individuals with intellectual disabilities.
You received a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Success Scholarship while at UTPA. How has the scholarship impacted your life?
Being a recipient of the STEM scholarship provided me with limitless opportunities regarding my graduate degree. Thanks to the STEM scholarship I was able to conclude my graduate studies in Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis. The scholarship relieved me of any financial expenses, which at the time represented barriers to the acquisition of my dreams.
What are your career goals?
Some of my career goals include expanding the field of Applied Behavior Analysis in our region. There is a need for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) in our region as there are many individuals who require behavior therapy for their current challenging behaviors. Additionally, I plan on publishing several of the behavioral procedures that we have implemented in our field which have resulted in immediate success.
What advice would you give to future graduate students?
My advice to future graduate students is to take full advantage of all of the opportunities that UTPA has to offer. Take as many courses as you can, participate in internships and attend job fairs. Good networking connections are established early on in your career and they can take you a long way. Participate in research opportunities and get involved in any of the social and learning communities established in UTPA. Your university experience and all of the opportunities it conveys only happen once in a lifetime!
Check out last week’s profile HERE.