• Associate Professor, Sociology Department

Research Summary

My research is focused on issues of race/class/gender/sexuality as they inform and are informed by societal institutions and reflected in cultural productions/expressions such as poetry, prose, and music lyrics. I am also interested in how these central issues are related to the construction of deviance/delinquency.


  • B.A., Sociology, University of New Mexico
  • Ph.D., Sociology, University of New Mexico. Project: "Culture and the Abuse of Women: A Focus On Latinos in New Mexico."


Theresa Martinez is currently Associate Professor of Sociology and former Assistant Vice President for Academic Outreach at the University of Utah. Her teaching and research deal with issues of race, class and gender, deviant behavior, juvenile delinquency, and popular culture.  Professor Martinez has published articles in Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Spectrum, the Utah Law Review, and Race, Gender & Class: An Interdisciplinary Journal.  In addition, she and Professor Marcia Texler Segal co-edited an anthology titled, Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class: Readings for a Changing Landscape (2007) which is published by Oxford University Press.

Professor Martinez has won several teaching awards including the Distinguished University Teaching Award, the College Superior Teaching Award, the Presidential Teaching Scholar Award, and the Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching—the highest teaching honor at the University of Utah.  In the community, Professor Martinez has won the 1994 YWCA Leadership Award for Education, the 2002 Salt Lake City Mayor’s Award for the Humanities, the 2005 Utah Coalition de La Raza Personal Achievement and Community Service Award, the 2006 Renaissance Woman Award, and the 2010 Cesar Chavez Peace and Justice Award.

In her work as Assistant Vice President for Academic Outreach, Professor Martinez secured a $1 million grant through the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to establish the Utah College Advising Corps (UCAC) at the University of Utah, to increase college access for underrepresented students to colleges and universities in the state of Utah.  Although she has gone back to full-time faculty work, Professor Martinez continues to collaborate on various projects including the Zions Evening ESL Program and the One Refugee partnrship with Continuing Education..

Professor Martinez is a former member of the Zions Bank Board and currently serves on the Cottonwood Region Advisory Board of Zions Bank, the Salt Lake Legal Defenders, and The Children’s Center.  She has appeared in Time magazine, the Miami Herald, and the New York Times, as well as on National Public Radio and 20/20: News Magazine.