Johanna Martin brings energy and hospitality to Reynolds Hall 


Noah Nims

Joanna Martin, English and Modern Languages Assistant.

Angela Tran, Staff Writer

In Reynolds Hall, anyone can experience a sense of wonder thanks to the “Chronicles of Narnia” style wardrobe, the shelves of classic old books and the most recent treasure added to the collection: Joanna Martin, the new English and Modern Languages Assistant.

Martin, who graduated from Westmont in May 2022, has returned to campus with two part-time jobs. As a Student Success Coach and the English and Modern Languages Assistant, Martin enjoys helping those around her. She sees student success coaching as a ministry to students and assisting the departments as a ministry to faculty.

This ministry centered mindset was instilled in Martin from a young age. She grew up as a missionary kid in Morocco until moving to California, so she is no stranger to a variety of cultures and modern languages. At age 17, she lived in France for a study abroad year. After three years at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry and two and a half years at Santa Barbara Community College, she felt God guide her to Westmont. At age 26, she transferred in for her junior year.

After graduating as a music major, Martin didn’t expect to end up in the English and Modern Languages departments. However, that changed during her position interview, when she felt encouraged by Dr. Paul Delaney and Dr. Dinora Cardoso at the prospect of hosting tea, building community and helping the departments get organized. 

Along with hosting tea parties, there are many ways in which Martin has brought change. She says that, after first arriving in October 2022, she “wanted to bring life back into Reynolds.” To do this, she began hosting holiday tea sessions and turning on the fireplace. 

Martin says, “It was just really awesome … to see faculty and students getting to interact in a way that didn’t have to be academic, talking about their breaks or reading poetry together.” Within the past month, she has also helped to start Instagram accounts to grow the English and Modern Languages departments’ social media presence for the first time.

Additionally, Martin worked to reorganize the workroom. Now, the faculty can efficiently find things in the labeled cabinets, read daily announcements on the whiteboard and depend on the perpetually bubbling coffee pot.

The most challenging part of the job, Martin explains, was at the beginning. When she first came to Reynolds, she had to figure out how to do everything from scratch. She says that her “saving grace was the entire academic administrative assistant community here at Westmont.” Martin has especially appreciated the weekly lunch meetings, training opportunities and group emails to learn how to do her best work in the assistant role.

Overall, she has found the experience to be rewarding. Martin says, “I feel like such a big purpose of mine is to bring life into places … We take ourselves with us wherever we go. I knew that with this job, I’d have this opportunity to make it my own, bring some of that energy and cultivate a spirit of [hospitality].” As long as Joanna is there, Reynolds Hall will always be ready for visitors with a spot of tea.

Don't miss out!
Subscribe To The Horizon Newsletter

Sign up to receive weekly highlights of our favorite articles from News, Sports, Arts & Entertainment and more! 


Invalid email address
You can unsubscribe at any time.