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Derek Martinez

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Place of Residence Peoria, Illinois Graduation Year 2005 Major Biology Post-BYU-Idaho Education MS Neuroscience, Brigham Young University

MD, Wayne State University
Current Occupation Neurosurgery Resident at Illinois Neurological Institute Family Wife: Audrey; Children: Isabelle, Lydia, and Madeleine
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How has your BYU-Idaho education helped you in your life?
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My BYU-Idaho education has set a foundation for spiritual and secular learning which has served me equally well during graduate school and Sunday School. Perhaps more importantly, I took from BYU-Idaho a conviction that Audrey and I could achieve our personal and professional goals together and keep our lives grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Since graduating from BYU-Idaho, what have been your greatest personal and professional accomplishments?
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Without a doubt my greatest joy is derived from family life. Like most families we have had trials and periods of difficulty, but as we strive to live after the manner of happiness that God has set forth for us we have been richly blessed. I also feel privileged to explore the field of neuroscience as a neurosurgeon.

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How does being a BYU-Idaho graduate help you be a leader in your workplace?
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As a student, I was mentored by instructors who ignited my desire to learn about the brain. Through their encouragement I had many opportunities to learn, to teach, and to conduct research. As a result, I have always felt very comfortable in academic and professional settings and I have developed a strong desire to teach and mentor others.

In many cases leadership opportunities stem more directly from my desire to serve than from the positions I have held. I can trace that desire to my time in Rexburg. Also, at BYU-Idaho collaboration is more important than competition. In the workplace the ability to work cooperatively is a much more highly sought after character trait than the ability to get ahead.

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How does your BYU-Idaho education help you serve in the community?
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At BYU-Idaho the educational environment is a constant reminder that we are a part of something much greater than ourselves. From the time Audrey and I lived in Rexburg we have felt an obligation to share with the community in which we live.

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How did your time at BYU-Idaho prepare you for service in the Church?
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The time I spent serving in the bishopric of our ward and sitting in councils with other ward and stake leaders was uplifting and instructional. The humility and goodness of those men and women are a powerful example to me and I have tried to emulate them in my own service.

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What service have you rendered in the Church since graduating?
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Since we left Rexburg I have had many opportunities to learn my duty and be engaged in a good cause. I have served in various positions at the ward and stake level including ward clerk, assistant stake executive secretary, Sunday School president, and ward mission leader. And it seems that in every ward, I end up teaching Gospel Doctrine for a while.

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How does being a BYU-Idaho graduate help you lead your family?
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I met my wife at BYU-Idaho and our eldest daughter was born in Rexburg, so in my mind family and BYU-Idaho go hand in hand. Audrey and our children have always been my highest priority. In fact, when I was interviewed for my present position the topic of family and putting family ahead of everything else came up. The emphasis on the gospel at BYU-Idaho helped me to keep my priesthood responsibility to teach and serve my family at the forefront of my life.

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Is there anything else you would like to share about your BYU-Idaho experience and how it blesses you today?
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We are very grateful for the time we spent in Rexburg. We feel that we have been blessed through our association with BYU-Idaho and look forward to giving back to the school and community.

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