Christopher Martin named to DMACC Honors Program as a high school junior
“Christopher Martin is one of the
most outstanding students I have encountered in my over 25 years of
being a college professor.”
That’s from DMACC Sociology Professor and DMACC Honors Program Director
Dr. Laurie Linhart and a significant accomplishment considering Martin
is still in high school, attending classes at Ankeny Centennial.
She calls Martin a unique DMACC Honors Program student.
was so impressed with Christopher’s maturity, intelligence,
accomplishments and potential that I encouraged him to apply,” Dr.
Dr. Linhart said Martin, who was enrolled in DMACC
classes, contacted her during the summer before his junior year
requesting a face-to-face meeting to discuss applying to the DMACC
Honors Program. Since he was still in high school, his application had
to be reviewed by the DMACC Honors Appeals Committee which quickly
admitted him to the DMACC Honors Program.
Martin became the very
first high school student in the six-year history of the program. He
will graduate from Ankeny Centennial High School, DMACC and the DMACC
Honors Program simultaneously in the spring 2020 semester.
feel very honored to be DMACC’s first high-school student to
concurrently study in the Honors Program,” Martin said. “I know that Dr.
Linhart took a risk accepting me into the Program. I am very
appreciative and fortunate that she gave me the opportunity to challenge
myself and grow as a student.”
Martin said his age has also impacted his Honors experience.
that I am 18, I can pass as a college student. However, when I first
joined the program, some of my classmates could tell I looked younger
than the typical student,” Martin said. “Usually about half-way through
the semester, one of my classmates would lean over and ask me, ‘Just how
old are you?’”
Martin said his DMACC professors have been supportive and challenging. He gave some examples.
Business Law I professor, Susan Mitchell, supervised a research paper I
wrote, connected me with community leaders, and wrote a letter of
recommendation for my college applications," Martin said. "My
Introduction to Business professor, Harold Zarr, helped me establish a
501(c)(3) nonprofit, institute basic accounting practices, and write a
mission statement for my organization. My Principles of Microeconomics
professor, Jude Igbokwe, helped me study the economic feasibility of
providing permanent supportive housing to chronically homeless persons.
Finally, in my Introduction to Human Services class this semester,
instructor Annie Wood-Long, was supervising research on homeless
service-providers in Des Moines."
Dr. Linhart said Martin is a standout Honors program student.
Honors project entails research into the economic impact of
homelessness in the local community," she said. "This directly ties into the
non-profit organization Christopher founded in 2018, Outreach of the Impoverished in the Des Moines Area, Inc."
hours interviewing professionals in the field, homeless people and
elected state and city officials. Based on these interviews and the
literature he reviewed, Martin created a business plan with help from
his DMACC economics professor, Dr. Linhart said.
The website www.oidma.org showcases his efforts.
addition, Martin plans to write a paper and present the information at
an upcoming sociology conference and the end of the year Honors Program
Martin also presented on a panel at the Upper Midwest
Regional Honors Conference in April of 2019, and traveled with other
Honors Students to New Orleans with Dr. Linhart for the 2019 National
Honors Academic Conference.
“It is rare for a high school student
to be engaged at this level,” Dr. Linhart said. “I presented on the same
panel and can testify to the excellent contribution Christopher made.
He is a stellar student, both in the DMACC Honors Program as well as in
the college classroom. He excels in everything he does. I have been a
college professor for more than 25 years and Christopher is clearly one
of the top students I have had the pleasure of working with. His passion
for learning is infectious. Not only is Christopher an extraordinary
student, he is also an extraordinary person of strong character. All of
his accomplishments to date predict a brilliant future."
Ankeny Centennial High School Principal Dr. Jen Lindaman echoed the laudatory comments about Martin.
is not only a model student, but is a model human being,” Dr. Lindaman
said. "He is most definitely dedicated and committed to his studies and
is also determined to serve his community through serving others.
Christopher is a student with whom anyone who has worked will remember
and take great pride in as he continues his journey to learn, lead and
Martin remains humble and appreciative of his experiences at DMACC.
am beyond grateful for the amazing education I have received at DMACC,
filled with challenging coursework and amazing Honors professors who
really care about me,” Martin said. “My Honors experiences have truly
been the highlight of this past year.”
Martin has been accepted at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Chicago.
University accepted me as a John Jay Scholar -- essentially, it's an
Honors Program filled with the top 100 or so students of its entering
class,” Martin said. “I am leaning toward attending Columbia this fall,
but I have until May 1 to think through all my options.”