Meet the new director of medical alumni affairs
By Melanie Stawicki Azam
From the time she first became a Gator, Chantele A. Martin has been talking to UF alumni and raising money for the university.
“When I was an undergraduate at UF, I worked for the phonathon, which opened my eyes to the world of fundraising in higher education,” she said. “All four years, I raised money for all the colleges at UF.”
Her first job after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in advertising was as an assistant director running the phonathon.
Since that time, Martin, 26, has gained more experience in annual fund operations and alumni outreach.
On July 6, she was named the director of medical alumni affairs, joining the College of Medicine’s Office of Development and Alumni Affairs.
“I’m passionate about alumni affairs because I care very much about this school and what we’re doing,” Martin said.
She said she’s also excited about being able to direct her skills in alumni affairs and development to a specific area of the university, as opposed to broadly covering all colleges.
The UF College of Medicine has about 12,000 living alumni, including residents and physician assistants, and about half of those are medical doctors and almost 1,000 are doctorate alumni.
About 70 percent of the College of Medicine’s alumni live in Florida.
“My goal is to continue to connect alumni back to the college,” Martin said. “They are very busy, so I have to make it easy for them.”
That means she wants to reach alumni which ever way works best for them — whether that involves a visit to Gainesville during the annual Alumni Weekend, attending an alumni event in their home city or reading alumni news publications. It means keeping alumni in the loop about what’s new at the college and what it’s like to be a medical student now, she said.
Prior to her new role, Martin was associate director of special campaigns at the UF Foundation, Florida Fund. While working full time, she earned a master’s degree in entrepreneurship from UF.
She grew up in Deltona, which is about an hour north of Orlando, and she graduated from Deland High School. She is the oldest of three children – she has a 13-year-old sister and 12-year-old brother – and moved to Deltona from San Diego when she was a preschooler.
Her mom has been an elementary school teacher for 30 years and her dad is in the Navy and currently stationed in Afghanistan. Her parents now live in Georgia.
Martin attributes her love for her job in part to her family.
“Education has always been a passion for me,” she said. “But also, I have a real heart for service.”