At the start of the new fall quarter, chemistry professor Rachel Martin and her husband will live among 100 international and American students at International Village, a cluster of four houses in Arroyo Vista, as a part of a new program at UC Irvine. Martin is the first professor at UCI to live in the same housing facility as students.
The idea of inviting a professor to experience dorming with students is currently very popular on the East Coast.
‘[I] went to Yale for graduate school and 13 houses had one or two professors living [in each house],’ Martin said.
In Irvine, International Village is a positive living/learning environment for international and American undergraduates and a few graduate students that engage them in activities that increase their knowledge and understanding of other cultures.
International Village also offers activities that encourage students to participate in the community and to engage in one anothers’ culture, such as international movie nights, holiday festivities, ethnic food cook-offs, intramural sports and more.
‘I want to have more of a sense of community and interact with students outside of class,’ Martin said. ‘Most of my undergraduate teaching has been Chemistry 1A and you know how that is … big classes! It’s hard to get to know people individually that way.’
Born and raised in Phoenix Arizona, Martin attended Arizona State University for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Yale in 2002 and became a postdoctoral researcher at Berkeley for three years before starting at UCI as a chemistry professor last year.
Martin is also the coordinator for the chemistry Education Abroad Program and hopes that chemistry students will want to study abroad as a result of their time at International Village.
‘I’m hoping to get to know [the students] more [and]… to bring experience with science and international students together,’ Martin said. ‘A lot of problems that we face are global. For example, the space program stationed at Antarctica