Dr. Mirta Martin is the president of Fairmont State University located in Fairmont West Virginia. Born in Havana, Cuba, and an immigrant to the United States, Dr. Martin uses her interpersonal and cultural expertise to work diligently to promote access to affordable educational opportunities. 

The Board of Governors recently offered Dr. Martin a new three-year contract in September 2019. Dr. Martin holds a baccalaureate in psychology and political science from Duke University; a master of business administration from the University of Richmond; and a doctorate with an emphasis on strategic management and leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Dr. Martin talked with Jim Matuga, host of The Positively West Virginia Podcast, about her college, her statewide tour and her advice to young entrepreneurs. 

What is the thing you’re most excited about for your Fairmont State University?

Higher Education

“I’m most excited about the boundless opportunities that this institution has. We are the only institution that is located off the 1-79 technology corridor. Our goal is to spread all of that is good and great about Fairmont State throughout West Virginia, the United States, and the world,” said Dr. Martin. “Which will help us become the destination that we should be. I’m excited about the endless possibilities that are just at a doorstep, with the possibility of new industry coming to town, emerging technologies, new businesses and career opportunities for our students and citizens. I think I am excited about the fact that industry has welcomed me and Fairmont State, and is having discussions with us about what’s coming down the pipe. In all, I am excited to have a platform with industry leaders, legislators and the office of the governor. This allows us to

have conversations so that Fairmont State University becomes that catalyst for growth in North Central West Virginia through the education our faculty is providing.”

What is your one takeaway from the statewide tour?

Dr. Martin embarked on a tour of the West Virginia counties, and she had this to say about the state, “The willingness of individuals throughout the state to support higher education. I challenged them after I left to continue to do those random acts of kindness that perhaps don’t take very much for you to do. I was touched by them welcoming me into their community and their words of support for Fairmont State and what we are doing for higher education.”

 What is the one thing you do every day that you think contributes to your success?

“I pray every day, morning and night,” said Dr. Martin. 

Martin was a guest on The Positively West Virginia Podcast. Listen to his full podcast here.


  • PHILOSOPHY OF LEADERSHIP: “Leadership is as simple as the golden rule.”
  • PIECE OF ADVICE: “You need to have an education,” advised Martin. She also advised to “follow the passion, not the money.