College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > History > About > Alumni Spotlights
Judge LeRoy Martin, Jr., featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Insights, the alumni newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, translates life lessons into service.
"There is honor in being a public servant," says LeRoy K. Martin, Jr., (History, '81), presiding judge of the Cook County Circuit Court's Criminal Division, about his most valuable life lesson. He also learned the importance of education, hard work and respect for others from his parents, former Chicago Police Superintendent LeRoy Martin, Sr., and former teacher and elementary school principal Constance B. Martin (MED '57).
"I'm very proud to say that I have a degree from DePaul," Martin says. "DePaul allows students to fulfill their desires. It certainly has done it for me, even surpassing my goals."
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Amy’s interest in history dates back to her childhood. Her father was a U.S. history teacher. He used to bring her family to nearly every Civil War battlefield and to Colonial Williamsburg multiple times, so, of course, she had to study something different. Amy became interested in European and Asian history. She always enjoyed traveling and learning about other cultures and their history. When her high school teacher (current DePaul History Professor Gene Beiriger) suggested that she consider pursuing history as a major, it seemed a natural fit.
When she was in graduate school, Amy worked as the graduate assistant in the history department office. This gave her a unique perspective inside and outside of class. Because of her work experience in editing, her thesis advisor, Tom Mockaitis, asked her to edit his then unpublished book on terrorism (pre-9/11). Amy recalls sitting at the front desk in the department office answering phones, helping students, editing his book, and sipping a cup of very strong espresso that a Latino Studies professor had offered her. Then she ran to an Asian history class, where they discussed European and American influence in Japan. It was wonderful—and a multicultural experience.
Amy also had the privilege of being involved in the process of hiring a new assistant professor. At the time, she was weighing sticking with writing and editing books to continuing her education and earning a PhD in history to teach. As the student representative, Amy was introduced to the final three candidates (of more than 500 applicants from around the world), had the opportunity to ask them questions, and sat in on mini-classes that they taught. The faculty listened carefully to her opinion about which candidate she thought would be the best choice for the department. Coincidentally, that person got the job. In the end, this experience made Amy realize that editing and writing was really her forte, and that she would be a better "teacher" through the written and digital word.
Since graduation, Amy has been fortunate to use her history skills and degree. After graduation, Amy continued working in educational publishing, first at Encyclopedia Britannica and then at Pearson Education. Later, Amy started a company with her former boss. They write, edit, manage, and consult on numerous social studies and language arts projects and products in the K–12 market for clients such as Pearson, National Geographic, McGraw-Hill, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ABC-CLIO, and Colonial Williamsburg. Every day, Amy utilizes the analysis and critical thinking skills that she learned in her studies at DePaul to help her develop educational materials and run her business. In addition, having history degrees has given Amy a solid foundation and a global perspective. An education in history has enabled her to build a deeper and richer understanding of what happens in our world today. When a news event breaks, Amy has the background knowledge and skills to analyze it.