There are certain professors that go above and beyond their job requirements as an educator. They go the extra mile to give their students the tools to live a meaningful life using what they have learned in the classroom. They want their students to use their knowledge to make a difference. Here at Manhattan College, we are lucky to have several professors like this, including Dr. Martha Mendez-Baldwin.
Dr. Mendez-Baldwin is a psychology professor here at Manhattan who specializes in developmental psychology. This year, she is the professor for The Arches program’s psychology classes. The Arches Program gives freshman students the opportunity to participate in many community service activities, so it is only fitting that Dr. Mendez-Baldwin is a professor for these students.
For years, she has worked with Dosomething.org, a non-for-profit organization that is devoted to promoting social change through young people ages 13 to 25.
This was her second year being involved in the “Teens for Jeans” campaign. Homeless youth were surveyed on what items they found themselves in need of. It was highly reported that the item they desired most was a pair of jeans. The “Teens for Jeans” campaign calls for donations of pairs of jeans to donate to homeless teenagers around the word. Dr. Mendez-Baldwin spearheaded the campaign here at Manhattan, specifically through the Arches Program in conjunction with the Psychology club. They placed collection bins for the jeans in East Hill and Miguel Hall and were able to collect a total of 450 pairs of jeans. Dr. Mendez-Baldwin and the students spread the word so much that she was even approached by people she did not know in the bathroom who had heard about the cause.
Dr. Mendez-Baldwin does not limit her community service to young people. She also extends her hand to the elderly. For her Arches class, she assigned a reading on the occurrence of depression in the geriatric population. The students later received an email from their professor asking them to bring crayons, markers, glitter, and glue to class the next day. Since Valentine’s Day was around the corner, Dr. Mendez-Baldwin and her students devoted some of their class time to making Valentine’s Day cards for elderly people in a senior program in Newburgh, New York. The average professor would have lectured on the subject of depression in the elderly and then moved onto the next topic. But Dr. Mendez-Baldwin had her students take some time out of their day to make a huge difference in the lives of strangers who could use some kind thoughts on Valentine’s Day.
Dr. Mendez-Baldwin inspires her students because she takes learning to the next level. She teaches her students that it is not only important to be knowledgeable, but it is also important to be kind. The best thing you can do as a student is to implement what you have learned by making a difference in the lives of others, however you choose to do so. We are so fortunate to have Dr. Mendez-Baldwin on our campus to inspire us to make a difference in the lives of those who need it.