St. Thomas Magazine_Spring 2022

tommie network

Odima enjoys providing children with the tools to help them feel successful, build confidence and overcome challenges. A marathon runner, he shares his experiences with students, hoping to inspire them to channel their energy into something they can be proud of. “If we really want to advance and build success for our students in Minnesota, academically, socially and emotionally, we need to have programs like this [CUGMEC] program,“ said Odima, who is also a mentor teacher for Saint Paul Public Schools Urban Teacher Residency Program (SUTR). “Not only does it develop strong teachers, it develops teachers who care, who want to stay in the program, are teachers from different backgrounds and teachers of color. The impact of it makes schools better. I see it. I have the confidence I‘mmaking a big difference every single year. The people that have gone through the program… I‘m seeing them go on and being successful. I‘m seeing that impact.“ n

have been challenging in the past who feel they don‘t have someone they can trust. I can advocate for them, can speak for them to be in the classroom.“ Odima was drawn to the CUGMEC for many reasons, especially the scholarship funding. He bonded with professors and fellow students, many of whom were also paraprofessionals looking to advance their careers. “Teachers don‘t last long in the profession, especially special education teachers. The average is three to five years. ... The fact I have that strong network with St. Thomas professors and people in the program has given me so many opportunities,“ said Odima, who recently co-authored a book chapter with St. Thomas faculty on thriving in education. He is also an adjunct professor at St. Thomas teaching one of the courses he took in graduate school.


School of Education alumnus Martin Odima appears in a production of the University of St. Thomas “We Are Tommies“ television commercial.

To view all six of the 30-second TV spots featuring St. Thomas alumni or current students, scan the QR code or visit: are-tommies/

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