Alejandro Martinez, residence director (RD) of O’Hara Hall and the O’Hara Village, is a true Renaissance man. He not only has a background in student affairs, but has also worked in music, dance, fashion and law enforcement. 

“Some people only know me through the work I do on campus, but I like to think there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye,” he said. 

We recently sat down with Martinez to discuss his journey to Stonehill. Here are 10 things to know about the Boston native.  

Martinez started working as a residence director at Stonehill College in July 2021.

1. He is committed to others' growth. Martinez started working as an RD at Stonehill College in July 2021. He is not only responsible for supervising a team of 10 resident assistants, but also helps promote students’ development by positively contributing to programs that enhance on-campus living.  

2. He helps students find their niche. Though Martinez is one of several residence directors currently working at the institution, he notes that no two RDs’ experiences are exactly alike. “Everyone’s roles genuinely feel different from one another because we’re all working with different student populations,” he said. Martinez works collaborates with underclassmen, whom he notes typically need and want help getting involved on campus, making friends and finding their niche.  

3. He has good advice for first-year students. Martinez advises that his residents and all other first-year students remain open to new experiences as they start college. “Just give things a try, whether it’s entering a new social space, trying out a new club, or approaching a new friend,” he said. “And if you find yourself in a bit of a rhythm, it’s probably time to challenge yourself with something different. Do something to push yourself to learn and do more.” 

4. He gives work-life balance a whole new meaning. Martinez and Stonehill’s other RDs live in the buildings they oversee due to the nature of their work. Martinez appreciates that his managers have established a culture that allows him to maintain a healthy work-life balance. When he is not on the clock, Martinez likes practicing the bongos, playing video games and working on landscaping projects.  

5. He enjoys developing fun programs. RDs like Martinez help resident assistants develop programming designed to keep students engaged. “The talk of the town last year was the O’Hara Prom,” he said. “It was one of the most successful programs we held last year. It was great to see all these young people dressed to the nines.”  

“From day one, I’ve felt a vibe on this campus that professionally has set a new standard for me. I’d be hard-pressed to find this kind of environment anywhere else," Martinez said.

6. He knows his way around the turntables. Those who attended the O’Hara Prom got to enjoy Martinez’s musical stylings as the residence director filled the role of DJ at the dance. Prior to joining the Stonehill community, Martinez moonlighted as a DJ at Boston-area nightclubs, bachelor parties and weddings. “I enjoy playing Latin and African music,” he said. “I’m also passionate about jazz and funk.”  

7. He can teach you to find your groove. As a DJ, Martinez is responsible for getting people up on their feet, but he also has plenty of experience getting on the dance floor himself. He conducts private lessons for those wanting to learn Latin and African styles of dance. “I like using dance as a way to explore different cultures with other people,” he said. “And teaching is great, because when you’re an instructor, you never stop learning yourself. I get to learn about new people, their experiences, their backgrounds and their perspectives.”  

8. He has sampled the scent of luxury. Martinez also previously worked at Nordstrom, where he served as a counter manager for their Men’s Fragrance team. His success in this position led to a freelance role with Tom Ford, the luxury fashion brand.  

9. He wants to positively impact others. Martinez earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice at Salem State University. He also completed an internship at Boston Police Headquarters. At one time, he was planning to become a police officer. Though he ultimately did not end up sticking with law enforcement, he does notice some parallels between careers in that field and his current one. “Being an RD is obviously very different from being a police officer, but the ability you have to impact the community in a positive manner is similar.”  

10. He appreciates his colleagues. As someone who has worked in a variety of fields, Martinez has collaborated with many different teams. He believes Stonehill’s employees are among the most dedicated professionals he has ever worked with. “From day one, I’ve felt a vibe on this campus that professionally has set a new standard for me. I’d be hard-pressed to find this kind of environment anywhere else.”  

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