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Martha Bellens-Martin
Martha Bellens-Martin | Image: Contributed by Martha Bellens-Martin
Martha Bellens-Martin ’85 has established the Martha Bellens-Martin ’85 Scholarship to provide one or more scholarships to full-time students in good standing pursuing an undergraduate degree in industrial and systems engineering from Texas A&M University. Preference will be given to Texas residents graduating from high schools within Bell County, Texas.
 
Bellens-Martin is a graduate of the industrial engineering department and was inspired to establish a scholarship within the department in support of the 80 for 80 campaign celebrating the 80th year of the department’s existence.
 
“The mentorship and education I received at Texas A&M, plus the lifelong friendships, are unmatched and I hope the recipients of this scholarship will have a similar experience that sets them on the best course for their future career,” Bellens-Martin said.
 
She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1985 and her master’s degree in engineering management in 1986. While attending Texas A&M she held officer positions in the Society of Women Engineers, Off-Campus Aggies and Texas A&M Student Senate.
 
“I started college as a petroleum engineering major in 1981,” Bellens-Martin said. “At the time the oil market was booming and the discipline was a large one, but when the market dropped in 1982 I realized it might not be the best chance for employment after graduation.”
 
Bellens-Martin attributes the start of her career in industrial engineering to Dr. James K. (Jim) Hennigan ’54.  In 1967 he developed a laboratory for the study of human factors, which led to a second-generation human factor’s laboratory, located in what is now the Zachry Engineering Education Complex, where he conducted his research. In addition to teaching full time, he served as the department's academic advisor for undergraduate students for over 15 years and was a charter member of Texas A&M Mentors.
 
“I never had someone ask me why I had chosen petroleum engineering as my major,” Bellens-Martin said. “When I met with Hennigan, he helped me understand that industrial engineering is the personal aspect of engineering, focusing on how the individual human fits into an engineering environment, and it sold me on the discipline.”
 
To this day everyone who has worked for Martha has said that what makes her a good manager and colleague is her willingness to listen and give feedback based on what she knows her colleagues are passionate about. Because of Hennigan, mentoring has become a hobby of sorts for Bellens-Martin and she has continued to do so since her time at Texas A&M.
 
“I am so grateful and thankful for my time as a student at Texas A&M and hope this scholarship will give students the opportunity to attend a university that places a high priority on stewarding students for the short- and long-term goals they have set for themselves,” Bellens-Martin said. “Mentors make an unbelievable difference in the course of a student’s life and can serve as a springboard into a fantastic career.”
 
Bellens-Martin is a senior manager at VMware, leading a team of technical account managers. VMware is a global leader in cloud computing and virtualization software and services. In her freeBelltime, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family. In March 2019 she co-hosted a Muster ceremony in the middle of the Arabian Sea. She is also an avid traveler who has visited all 50 U.S. states and 52 countries on her quest to visit at least 100.  She stays connected to the university via the Traveling Aggies trips and reunions.

How to Give

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering is celebrating its 80th anniversary in the next year. The department’s goal for this celebration is to have 80 scholarships for the 80 years the department has existed. Endowments supporting the students in the department have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the department’s goal or would like more information on how you can give, please contact John Bernheim, senior director of development.