Sheila Martin keeps transfer students on track

Sheila Martin photo courtesy: Martin

Known for advising and mentoring to improve student success, she is a Rattler with many striking positions.

Sheila Martin is the coordinator of the Transfer Academic Success program and the Transfer Student Association. These programs were created to make students’ transfer to FAMU as seamless as possible.

Originally from Flint, Michigan, Martin is the mother of two children. She said she cherishes each and every moment with her grandchildren. In her spare time she likes to bake cakes and spend time with family.

Martin is a dedicated, passionate and kind professional with experience working in a higher education setting. She is also incredibly well organized and resourceful.

Martin comes to her position with considerable experience in administration, management and leadership.

“I’ve been teaching for over 10 years, and I have worked in many different departments. I have also learned something from each of those positions and I try to use them to help others,” Martin said.

Martin loves getting the chance to put her expertise to work by educating others. Martin implemented programs to assist new and returning transfer students with a smooth transition to FAMU.

“You have three friends that will help you transfer, and that’s your paper curriculum map, FAMU transcript and the academic module,’’ Martin said.

She is known as the liaison between the major departments and the community colleges, building relationships, promoting a smooth transitions, on-time graduation and assisting prospective transfer students with their questions.

“I work closely with faculty, staff and university student support services to advocate and support transfer students in enhancing their academic journey and social experience,” Martin said.

FAMU offers clubs and initiatives specifically designed to aid transfer students in settling into the university.

TAU is a program allowing students to receive a scholarship. The program is for transfer students with a first-term GPA of 3.5 or better at Florida A&M University. Tau Sigma is a national honor organization. In order to honor the top students who transfer to FAMU each year, Tau Sigma was founded there in 2016.

The Transfer2Transfer Peer Mentoring Program, Transfer Student Association, Transfer Student Ambassadors, Tau Sigma National Honor Society are among the opportunities within the Transfer Academic Success program.

Even though these programs are for transfer students, many still find barriers outside of socializing that stand in their way when coming to FAMU.

Former Rattler Bryan Seymour says Martin assisted him when he came to FAMU. Seymour said that before coming to FAMU, he didn’t know much about the School of Business and Industry and its requirements.

“When I came to FAMU, I didn’t know that I needed an internship to graduate from SBI. You had students working on their second and third internship by the time I got there. Ms. Martin helped me out a lot,” Seymour said.

Martin was also the chair of the Athletic Compliance Committee and helped to set up the Athletic Committee. In its provisional year, Martin changed its status from an NAIA university to an NCAA Division II school.

“ In the ninth grade I played basketball, volleyball and ran track,” Martin said.

She is in charge of managing all facets of NCAA eligibility, compliance, academics, assessments, administration of internal operations, reporting and supervision of direct reports, among other responsibilities.

Martin performed as the department’s point of contact with the NCAA, Gulf South Conference, SIAC Conference, registrar’s office, academics, university president’s office, student activities including Title IX, and other university agencies.

In addition, she has served as the organization adviser for the FAMU chapter of Big Sister Little Sister for over three years and has served as an adviser for the FAMU Campus+ organization for the past two years.

“We work with transfer students and their transition, retention to graduation, and their overall college experience,” Martin said.

She provides holistic academic, career advice, and personal counseling. She also improves academic performance for at-risk students and holds weekly meetings with students who will benefit from monitoring.

“I love teaching and as a faculty academic adviser/counselor, my responsibility to my institution and professional advising community is to support and promote student success both inside and outside the classroom,” Martin said.