Emeriti Faculty

Wendy Martyna

Research Interests

The art of educating: The teaching and the learning process

The social psychology of communication in the digital age

Biography, Education and Training

1978 - Ph.D., Psychology, Stanford University
1973 - B.A., Psychology, Minor emphases in Journalism, Speech, Telecommunications, Urban Studies, University of Southern California

Wendy Martyna is a continuing lecturer in Sociology, teaching a broad range of courses in the field of social psychology.  After earning her Ph.D. at Stanford University in 1978, she was an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UCSC for five years, before leaving the tenure track in order to focus on teaching and activism. She has consulted and led workshops nationally and in the U.K. on death and dying, creativity as a response to burnout, as well as poetry and storytelling.  Her early research centered on the social psychology of gender (particularly language and the sexes), while her continuing areas of inquiry include death and dying, life in the digital age, and the changing nature of the teaching and the learning process.  She has taught at UCSC, Stanford, Cabrillo College, West Valley College, and has been a co-director of several nonprofits, including Children’s Creative Response to Conflict and the Peace Day Project, as well as serving as a board member of the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Honors, Awards and Grants


  • 2003 - 2015. Honored Faculty Participant in College Commencements (invited by graduating class): Cowell, Oakes, College 9 and 10, Merrill, Kresge, Stevenson, University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 2011. Universal Design of Instruction of Award (for using multiple methods of instruction apart from lecture) - - Disability Resource Center, University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 2007. Commencement Speaker at Cowell College, University of California, Santa Cruz (selected by graduating class).
  • 2003.  UCSC Excellence in Teaching Award, awarded by Academic Senate Committee on Teaching, University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 1982. Commencement Speaker at Stevenson College, University of California, Santa Cruz (selected by graduating class). 


  • 2009. Professional Development Grant from Non-Senate Faculty Council on Professional Development - for travel to the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles; one year's Membership; and purchase of teaching materials. ($481)
  • 2007. Professional Development Grant from Non-Senate Faculty Council on Professional Development- - to attend and present a paper at Oxford Round Table, Oxford University, England. ($2,500).
  • 1979 - 82. University of California Grants: Regents’ Fellowship, Faculty Research Grants, Instructional Improvement Grants, University of California, Santa Cruz

Selected Publications

Edited Books

  • 1977. Women and Men: Changing Roles, Relationships and Perceptions. Praeger. Co-edited with L. Carter and A.F. Scott. 

Contributions to Books

  • 1983. “Beyond the ‘he/man’ approach: The case for nonsexist language,” Expanded version in Language, Gender and Society. Newbury House.
  • 1980. “Teaching About Language and the Sexes,” in The Voices and Words of Women and Men. Pergamon Press.
  • 1980. “The psychology of the generic masculine,” in Women and Language in Literature and Society. Praeger Publishers.

Journal Articles

Selected Presentations

Public Lecture or Forum Participation

  • 2015. Academic Senate Committee on Teaching, Faculty Spotlight interview (posted on website), University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 2014. One of four faculty invited to present in the inaugural year of the Last Lecture Series, Dean of Students Office, University of California, Santa Cruz (posted on website).
  • 2013, 2015. Invited faculty presenter at Teaching Assistant Training. Workshop on Working with Student Writing, University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 2013. Faculty presenter at Sociology Colloquium Series – Pedagogies and Practices: Teaching Sociology at University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 2012. Faculty presenter at STARS dinner (Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students), University of California, Santa Cruz.
  • 2003 – 2005. Participant and presenter at the Poetry Otherwise workshop in Emerson College, England.
  • 1995 - 2010. Coordinator of annual Robert Bly Poetry Workshop, Asilomar, CA.
  • 1993 – 1994. Co-coordinator for the International Storytelling Symposium, Emerson College, England.
  • 1973 - 2015. Workshop Leader and Public Speaker, U.S. and U.K., Workshops and talks on Death and dying; Creativity as a source for renewal for professionals working with HIV/AIDS issues (California State AIDS Conference, Contra Costa County Office of Mental Health, Hospice Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz AIDS Project). 

Papers Presented at Professional Meetings

  • 2007. Oxford Round Table on Aging, Oxford University, England; Learning Successfully about Aging Successfully: Strategies for teaching college students.
  • 1975-1983. Professional papers on: death and dying, life in the nuclear age, mentoring in academia, teaching practices, language and the sexes, androgyny. Presented at state and national conventions (Forum for Death Education and Counseling, American Psychological Association, Western Psychological Association, California State Psychological Association, National Women’s Studies Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Speech Communication Association).

Teaching Interests

Social psychology, death and dying, social change, family and youth, gender issues, language and social interaction, the nature of the learning process