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Marquette University Alumni Association

Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Recipients

Young Alumnus of the Year Award

Michael T. MartinDR. MICHAEL T. MARTIN, ARTS '93

Newnan, Georgia

Dr. Mike Martin seemed destined for a government career. In third grade, he wanted to be a U.S. senator. His favorite book is Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. At Marquette, he developed leadership skills working in student government, serving as president of College Democrats and volunteering for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. 

But his Marquette experience prompted an unexpected turn. During Dr. Katherine Rusch’s abnormal psychology class, he decided to become a psychologist, subsequently earning his doctorate in psychology from Auburn University. And it wasn’t long before he entered government service, accepting a position at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where he found his passion: helping veterans.

“People who served in the military gave up some of their freedom for a period of time and agreed to do what is necessary to protect our country and our way of life,” he says. “These people deserve the best when it comes to health care.”

So Mike helped implement a national initiative, placing 11 psychologists in primary care clinics at the Atlanta VA to increase veterans’ access to mental health care. As a recognized leader in facilitating this innovative initiative, he frequently consults and trains around the country.

Across the spectrum of his work, Mike appreciates that he can “impact the care of many, many veterans rather than just one veteran at a time.” He created the Atlanta VA’s first psychology post-doctoral residency program and promotes innovative service delivery that outpaces the private sector. This includes developing a telemental health services program, using videoconferencing to provide mental health care to veterans at clinics near their homes.

“I am lucky in that my job provides me with a good living doing something that ultimately improves the lives of others,” he says.

Fun facts about Mike:
Hometown: Harrison, Ark. 
Favorite book: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Someone alive or dead he’d like to have dinner with: Bill Clinton
The Marquette faculty members who had an impact on Mike: Rev. Ronald Bieganowski S.J., Rev. John Naus, S.J., Mike Wierzbicki, Steve Franzoi and Katherine Rusch
Favorite Marquette memory: His best memories occurred outside of class, engaging in campus activities and social events where he made lifelong friends. In grade school, Mike wanted to be a U.S. senator.
Most influential people in Mike’s life: His parents and his wife