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Campus Celeb: Martha Jane Paterson

Like so many others, Martha Paterson was first drawn to Carnegie Mellon when she saw the passion of the student body. She knew that she could fit right in at a place where no one was afraid to be proud of what they loved to do, whether it be engineering, biology, or (in Martha’s case) writing.

Martha started writing in the third grade. Her very first endeavor into the creative field was a short story about a frog who was turned into a boy. He cried for a while, fell into a puddle, and turned back into a frog. Martha still thinks it’s the best story she’s ever written — she’s a poet, after all. As much as she loves writing, it’s her least favorite part of the writing process. She prefers the editing process, claiming she’s so much smarter the second time around.

When she’s not writing poetry and doing homework, Martha works at two on-campus jobs. She’s an Andrew Ambassador and works at the CMU Telefund. Naturally an introvert, Martha has been challenged by her jobs to embrace her extroverted side. Since both jobs require a lot of interaction with people, whether it be face-to-face or through phone conversations, Martha feels that her jobs have made her much more comfortable interacting with people. She’s also less afraid to ask for what she wants — her job at the CMU Telefund has her asking people for donations for hours a week. But the best part of her jobs is that Martha doesn’t have to rely on her parents to pay her rent, a fact she’s very proud of.

Aside from her jobs, Martha is also involved with The Tartan and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society. Initially, Martha found herself roped into working for The Tartan by her friends who comprise much of the staff. Since her interests don’t lie in journalistic writing, Martha found her niche as the Online Editor. Every time you see a tweet or Facebook post from The Tartan, that’s Martha!

As for Sigma Tau Delta, finding herself as the vice president has been a bit disorienting. The new-to-CMU honor society raises money for local literary organizations and to send members to the annual Sigma Tau Delta conference. Along with her fellow English department officers, Martha’s working to cement Sigma Tau Delta’s place on campus.

Outside of classes, Martha recently turned 21 and has made it her mission to try a new beer every time she goes to a bar. She’s only failed twice so far! Eventually, she’d like to have a beer with her advisor. Or just watch more Netflix.

In a perfect world, Martha would find a job where she gets to give clever, punny names to nail polishes colors. And it would pay at least 50k. A girl can dream, right?

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