Great discoveries start with Hi.

Select another student to explore their circle.

Patrick Headshot
Seizing opportunities as they come sometimes means bumping to Mia Hamm while covering an event for Yackety Yack, or visiting six countries in four weeks with the Burch Fellowship.

Meet Rodrigo's Circle

Pick a connection

Safiyah co-founded an American Sign Language club on campus, and even gave a talk a TEDxUNC called “Bringing Language to Life.”

Jamey Johnson. Selfless friend. Fellow outdoors enthusiast.

Ben French is the house manager at Kenan Theatre Company, where Rodrigo saw a modern adaption of “Bacchae.”

Sangeetha Kumar founded UNC Science Days to encourage young girls to pursue STEM fields. Can be found at Yopo during her free time.

The Gillings Public Health atrium is the best place to meet up with professors for coffee and conversation.

If Rodrigo had been born earlier, he may have joined the ranks of Vasco de Gama, Marco Polo, and other world explorers. He isn’t afraid to try new things – like being the first in his family to go to college in the U.S. Born and raised in Mexico City, he moved to Brevard, N.C. in high school. The American college system introduced him to many new things. Like, college dorm door decorations. “When I arrived on campus, I was so confused by the smallest of things. It felt like everyone else knew what college was; I was figuring it out as I went along. Turns out that’s how everyone feels!”

Rodrigo never lost his love of exploring. He loves languages, and takes Mandarin and Russian classes… for fun. He tried out a few majors, ranging from Clinical Lab Science to Anthropology, before finding his fit at the Gillings School of Public Health. While figuring out if photography and journalism would be his fit, he bumped into Mia Hamm while doing a shoot for the Yackety Yack. We know, #NBD.

Last summer, his sense for adventure led him to Europe for a Burch Field Research Seminar on renewable energy and city planning. Six countries, four weeks, and an insane number of great memories. With his love of travel and willingness to try new things, who knows where Rodrigo will go next!

Name: Rodrigo Martinez

Hometown: Brevard, NC

Major: Environmental Health Sciences and Engineering


Resident Advisor and Mentor, Admissions Ambassadors, Yackety Yack, Burch Research Fellowship

Advice to prospective students: "Don't hold back. Be dauntless. Try out your interests and push beyond your comfort zone."

Some people fear it will be like high school – it’s just not. You challenge yourself here and grow with every day spent on campus.