Faculty Stories: Eric Martinson

Eric Martinson

Program: English

Note: Eric Martinson, who passed away in 2019, was beloved by his students. This story remains as a tribune to his love for teaching. 

Eric Martinson initially worked as a financial analyst and was doing what he loved – researching, writing and delivering information.

But days before starting a Ph.D. in Economics, he took a risk.

“I decided instead to pursue my ultimate ambition, focusing my graduate work on professional writing to become an English professor here at College of DuPage,” he said. “Being a COD alum myself, it was at this distinguished institution, with our celebrated staff and faculty, where I found the bedrock of my future. This campus is where I always wanted to return and serve.”

Martinson did return to campus and was hired to teach English, a discipline that allows him to connect his skills of researching and writing with his students’ personal ambitions.

“Teaching, for me, is merely the delivery mechanism of everything I do beforehand – create, innovate, collaborate. And then, after a meticulous production, execute. Teach. Every employee at the College contributes to that final act in the classroom, the one where knowledge is ultimately conveyed to our students. I simply have the great honor of being the one who stands before them when it happens,” he said.

“I teach future engineers, accountants, nurses and everyone between and beyond. I craft content that my students will be able to apply regardless of their fields. I may build the tools, but my students are the ones who discover how they’ll personally use them.”

His own inspiration begins on the first day of class, and it provides fuel throughout the year.

“Even after weeks into a semester, I think back to that first day. There’s always an energy there. Always. It’s a limitless source, and I draw from that well often,” he said. “Standing before a classroom on day one, seeing nothing but potential in those eager minds, it’s like the first taste at the buffet – caffeine helps, too.”