A Special Thank You to UNCG’s Dr. Tom Martinek’s Dedication and Service to the CNNC

Posted on November 27, 2022

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Dr. Tom Martinek is a professor of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has been with UNCG for over forty-five years and during his tenure he has researched the social and psychological dynamics of coaching and teaching. Dr. Martinek has also established several programs including Project Effort, the middle college, and Youth Leader Corps. Through these projects and programs, he has partnered with several community organizations and university programs and centers, including the Center for New North Carolinians.

Dr. Martinek has been a community-engaged scholar since the CNNC’s early days of inception when Dr. Raleigh Bailey was the director. Dr. Martinek has been valuable in the evolution of CNNC programs, especially with Project Effort and the development of the CNNC Community Centers.

Project Effort is an after-school sport and leadership program for underserved children and youth. The program focuses on providing young kids with the opportunity to learn values related to personal and social responsibilities. The goals of Project Effort include teaching young kids how to work effectively both independently and as a group. It also fosters an “I can” instead of an “I can’t” ideology. Project Effort promotes responsibility as a group through teaching others all while providing a safe and fun environment for children. The program has since evolved to allow former members of Project Effort to be mentors for its current members.

Project Effort has operated for over twenty-years. Dr. Martinek hopes the program will continue after his tenure at UNCG. Over the next few months, Dr. Martinek has focused on ensuring the continued success of Project Effort by creating an endowment and implementing a strong structural foundation for the program. He hopes the endowment will help provide financial support to graduate and undergraduate students to continue the mission of Project Effort. Dr. Martinek has also focused on cementing partnerships he has developed with several organizations throughout the years, including the partnership with the CNNC.

Dr. Martinek will be retiring at the end of the academic year, but he hopes Project Effort and the CNNC Community Centers will continue their two decade partnership. While Dr. Martinek will be retiring from his responsibilities as a professor, he still sees himself as remaining involved in the community.

Natacha Nikokeza, the CNNC’s Community Centers Senior Program Coordinator and long-time colleague and friend of Dr. Martinek, said she truly appreciates his “hard work and commitment to serving refugee and immigrant kids.”

We at the CNNC would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Martinek for his years of service and recent donation to the CNNC. We wish you a happy retirement and hope to stay in touch for the years to come.

Ashley Loper-Nowak
Graduate Assistant

If you would like to support the CNNC through volunteering or by donating, please visit this link.


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