700x550 Dean Martinez v1

Dr. Cynthia Martinez Named New Dean of the School of Community Medicine


Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) President Dr. Sheldon Schuster has announced Dr. Cynthia Martinez as the new Dean of the School of Community Medicine (SOCM). Martinez has served as the Dean of Students at KGI since June 2018 and takes over as SOCM Dean effective August 1, 2022.

“Dean Martinez has provided tremendous leadership, vision, and direction for all the activities and services that have enhanced our students’ experiences and engagement,” said Schuster. “She has a strong vision heading into her new role and is eager to implement strategies to move our SOCM programs even further.”

Martinez joined KGI in 2018 as Dean of Students and oversaw Student and Campus Life, Career Services, Title IX, Academic Support Services, Student Conduct and Honor Code, and Wellness at KGI.

Before arriving at KGI, Martinez worked for 19 years at the University of Southern California (USC), where she demonstrated a tremendous commitment to creating diverse and inclusive communities for students. Most recently at USC, she served as interim assistant dean of student affairs for the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

Before that, Martinez was the executive director of Advisement and Academic Services. She also had experience as a USC instructor, including 11 years within the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and two years at the Rossier School of Education.

Previously, Martinez was a healthcare educator managing resources and services for cancer patients and caregivers at City of Hope National Cancer Institute.

She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology at Cal Poly Pomona, graduated from USC with a Master of Education degree in postsecondary administration and student affairs, and has a Doctor of Philosophy in leadership studies at the University of San Diego.

Martinez becomes dean after Dr. David Lawrence retired in March of 2022.

“Everything about the mission and vision of the School of Community Medicine is reflected in my personal lived experiences,” Martinez explained.

“I am coming full circle as I get to apply my Bachelor of Science in Biology and my experience working in health education to help and support our students as they go and make a difference.”

KGI’s School of Community Medicine has an innovative, integrated approach that prepares future physicians and other healthcare professionals to care for underserved and underrepresented communities. The school provides students with the skills to reduce disease burden, improve health, and prepare them for the significant scientific and technological changes already underway in healthcare.

Currently, one master’s degree and two certificate programs are housed within the SOCM:

“I see synergies within our academic programs at KGI as well as growth opportunities in workforce development initiatives by the state to offer continuing education and certificate units for healthcare professionals and physicians,” Martinez stated. “It is an exciting time to be at KGI, and I am thrilled to be in this new role!”

Listen to a special podcast with Cynthia!