Tyler Martinez, a student of Rhetoric and Literature, is one of our four finalists for the Spring 2020 Alumni Association Outstanding Master’s Graduate Award. He will earn a Master’s of Arts degree in English this week.
Tyler, a Thibodaux native, obtained his bachelor’s degree in English at UL Lafayette in 2013. When deciding to pursue an M.A. in English, he felt assured that UL Lafayette’s program would support his research interests and provide him the opportunity to explore his potential.
“The English department at UL Lafayette really feels more like home to me than any other place; it is where I've developed the most as an intellectual and as a person,” Tyler reflects. “The faculty, staff, and community at UL Lafayette that work to create that feeling are my favorite part of the program.”
Tyler worked with Dr. Clancy Ratliff, and pursued a concentration in Rhetoric. “I'm fascinated by the systems, modes, and methods that humans utilize to communicate with and persuade each other,” he notes.
This interest in the art of persuasion has dovetailed with an interest in pedagogy, fueled by his work as Assistant Director of the University’s Writing Center. In this position, Tyler worked closely with Director Denise Rogers, making programmatic contributions and managing employees. Tyler has also contributed to the scholarship devoted to understanding the value of writing centers. The Writing Center, Tyler has argued, stands out as a place where undergraduates may mentor faculty, subverting the hierarchies of expertise found in most educational settings. His account of the radical inclusivity of this structure uses the lens of queer theory to explore new frontiers in writing center scholarship.
“Primarily, my experiences at UL Lafayette have helped me to become an independent and critical thinker, and wherever I end up in my life or career, that skill and the knowledge that I have the ability to learn for myself will prove that this educational endeavor has been a success,” he says.
Tyler plans to continue his development as a scholar by pursuing a doctoral degree.