Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Randal Martinez ’03, ’05

Randal Martinez ’03, ’05
Lakehaven Water and Sewer District
Assistant Manager – Wastewater Operations

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Responsible. Educated. Professional.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
My former employer announced the shutdown closure of the facility where I worked. I was fortunate to be asked to perform the shutdown logistics and gained an extra year of employment but I decided then that I would never be in that position again, and the best way to do that was through advancing my education and thus my opportunities. I was the first AFSCME union graduate from the State of Ohio.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
The rigor and challenge of ESC’s online program was tremendous. Plus, it included the opportunity to interact and network with many successful people in my career field across the country. Plus, the program I chose for my graduate degree was structured very similarly which gave me a boost in attaining it cum laude.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
I owe my family (wife and two sons) a huge thank you for enabling me to steal away every night to study and for understanding the focus I needed to maintain to be successful. But the end of terms were strictly for them to catch up with me.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
A full-time job, 2 teenage boys, a wife, job lay-off with an income drop, the death of my dad, and numerous other life events. But challenges are just opportunities wrapped up in a little bit of difficulty.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
Stay focused and don’t let yourself drift off mark, it is difficult to catch up. Distance learning is much more difficult than a traditional classroom as it requires self-discipline and focus over an extended period of time and not everyone has the will to go the distance.

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
I have been unable to donate as I used to due to my wife’s health issues but will continue when those issues resolve.

How has your experience at ESC changed your life since graduation?
The education brought me better employment opportunities and the knowledge to perform at a higher level in my career field.

Anything else you would like to share?
Thanks to ESC for being the program that fit my education needs perfectly. Thanks to all of my instructors and mentor for the advice, challenges and encouragement during my program.