Nelda Martinez, '70, '82 & Steve Hampton, '80

 Nelda Martinez, Ph.D. College of Nursing and Health ('78, '82)

Attained her bachelor of science degree in nursing in 1978 from Wright State University followed by her master of science in rehabilitation/community health nursing from Wright State in 1982. In so doing, Martinez was the first Hispanic American to graduate from both of these degree track programs in nursing at Wright State.

This distinction as the first Hispanic American student continued as she went on to complete her Ph.D. in nursing from the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University. This was followed by her completion of the National Institutes of Health/National Institute of nursing research (NIH/NINR) postdoctoral fellowship in clinical genetics at the University of Iowa’s college of nursing. She achieved this in conjunction with the NIH graduate training program in clinical investigation in the college of medicine, in which she attained the NIH/K30 certificate in clinical research.

Martinez has taught from undergraduate to doctoral nursing students at Purdue University, the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and the University of Texas at El Paso, where she served as associate professor and senior research fellow at the NIH Hispanic Health Disparities Research Center. She was the first director of the Center for Nursing Research and Evaluation in the school of nursing. She is currently at the University of Texas at Brownsville, where she has served as dean and is now professor of nursing. In addition to nursing, she has also served as instructor/clinical assistant professor in the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

Martinez is the recipient of various awards to support her education and research as well as recognize her professional and community service. This includes The Ohio State University graduate minority fellowship and both the predoctoral and postdoctoral NIH/NINR nursing research fellowships.

To support her research projects, Martinez has been funded by the NIH/NINR to derive psychometric reliable and valid Spanish language diabetes patient education materials for Hispanic Americans; she has also been funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Science/NIH to explore mediating factors and cytokine pathways in Hispanic American sibling pairs along the U.S.—Mexico border who have, or are at risk for, respiratory health problems such as asthma.

Other funded studies supported by the NIH include the role of predictive genetic testing for the management of diabetes for Mexican American people, and exploring the presence of Apolipoprotein E (APOE) polymorphisms among Mexican Americans with and without type 2 diabetes. Her work has led to her service as reviewer for peer-reviewed research journals, and grant and project reviewer for local, state, and national professional and government organizations.

In recognition of her professional and community service, Martinez received the National Distinguished Service Award by the American Association of Diabetes Educators in which she served as member of the Board of Directors and Vice-President, and the National Distinguished Recognition Award by the Diabetes Education and Research Foundation in which she served as a founding trustee and chair. She also received the Faculty/Staff Recognition Award and the Faculty Advisor and Service Recognition Award at Purdue University for her two years of work to support the founding of the first-ever, university-wide Latino Student Union, as well as establishing the support program for minority students at the school of nursing.

Her continued support of Hispanic students was recognized by receipt of the Faculty Mentorship Award at the University of Texas at El Paso for her work with migrant students along the U.S.–Mexico border region. For her work in supporting and promoting research for minority populations, as well as research careers for minority students and healthcare professionals, Martinez was the 2011 recipient of the Research in Minority Health Award by the Southern Nursing Research Society.


Steve Hampton B.M. in Music Theory and Composition, ’80

You’ve probably heard Steve Hampton’s music and didn’t even know it. Hampton has composed scores for several television series, including Just Shoot Me and Last Comic Standing, and national commercials for such notable clients as Walgreens, Nike, and Isuzu.

Hampton said his interest in music started at the age of 12 when “the old rock and roll thing kicked in.” The classic rock band Cream captured his attention along with Jimi Hendrix’s rendition of “Hey Joe.” Hampton purchased an electric guitar, a few records, and some songbooks. “Every hour I had,” he recalled, “was trying to learn rock and roll songs.”

While studying music at Wright State, Hampton met his wife, Jamie, a design/technology major in the theatre department. They both graduated in 1980, and Jamie landed a job as a costume designer with an opera company in Anchorage, Alaska.

“I knew at that point in time I wanted to be in the recording business and to write music,” said Hampton. “There was no path for how to do that. Even if you had a music degree, it didn’t matter. You had to go out and just create it yourself.”

In Anchorage, Hampton played solo acoustic guitar in bars, clubs, and restaurants while writing music for local commercials and small films. For larger projects, he traveled to Seattle to record music. When he was producing an album in Los Angeles in 1984, he met the owners of Admusic, who offered Hampton a job as a staff writer for national TV commercials.

In 1996, Hampton and partner John Adair purchased Admusic. By 2004, they had branched out into film work and renamed the company Emoto Music. Hampton and Adair sold Emoto in 2011, but they still consult for the company on music for TV commercials while producing their own work for television programs and films.

“We’re one of the few teams in Hollywood that have probably been able to do commercials and TV shows at the same time fairly successfully,” said Hampton. “It’s really hard to do more than one genre.”

While Hampton would like to do more work in films and expand into documentaries, he concedes that time is an issue. “There just aren’t enough minutes in the day,” he said. “It takes a real focus—a lot of time, a lot of networking. Films take a month to three months to complete. Meanwhile, all of these other projects are coming in.”

One of the standout projects of Hampton’s career was composing a fanfare for Wright State University. It debuted at the 2007 inauguration of President David R. Hopkins. “It was really cool that it was for Wright State,” said Hampton. “I got to go there and hear it played. That was a definite thrill for me.”

As he looks back on his career so far, Hampton is grateful for the opportunities it’s presented. “I’m very thankful for being able to make a living writing music. Just to be able to write new stuff on a continual basis is really rewarding,” he reflected. “All the people I’ve met—they’re incredible, talented, world-class musicians. Getting to know them and work with them and be right there as they’re creating—it’s been super rewarding and really incredible to watch.”