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Biology undergraduate Samantha-Lynn Martinez featured in UW Undergraduate Academic Affairs student story

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - 11:00

UW Biology undergraduate student Samantha-Lynn Martinez was featured in a UW Undergraduate Academic Affairs student story on her experience of belonging through the UW Honors Program. Samantha-Lynn is a UW undergraduate double-majoring in marine biology and ecology, evolution and conservation biology.

Congratulations on the feature, Samantha-Lynn!

Excerpt of the feature below, read the full story on the UAA website:

I had never anticipated that by my second year as an undergraduate, I would get a chance to use the industry-standard camera for wildlife cinematography, let alone under the instruction of my ultimate role model in the industry, Erin Ranney. As the day progressed, I found my initial overwhelm and fears of incompetence vanishing. My hands stopped shaking, my feet found their grounding, and I began to feel confidence in using such a machine. Not only was I worthy of using it, but I would commit my life, voice and career to this field.

As I head into the world of science communications and wildlife film, I realize that I would have never gotten to this point of comfort and belonging without the help of the folks at UW Honors who pushed me to pursue and create what I wished, even if I was back home using my own humble pieces of equipment and not in the wilderness with these machines of big-time cinema.

Women and nonbinary folks make up only 5% of the world’s wildlife camera people, and camera women of color make up an even smaller fraction of this 5%. It was thrilling to be a part of this effort and pave the way for other girls of color, like me, looking to make an impact in this creative field.

Just four months before, I was filming an honors and aquatic sciences project about how fish hear on my nine-year-old digital camera. I worked on animations for the project in between my classes, recorded voiceovers in my closet and spoke about the process of creating this all in my teaching section of Honors 100 as a peer educator. I was nervous about the scale of the project and what advisers and peers would think of this ambitious goal to integrate my creative side into a STEM topic.