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  • Formed in 1988, MARTI combines academic resources with treatment expertise to provide state-of-the-art training on addiction treatment for substance abuse counselors and mental health professionals, develops and coordinates intramural and extramural research projects, and provides research and training opportunities for graduate students entering the field.

    Robert Ackerman, the founding director, and Edward Gondolf, the director of research, recently retired from MARTI and IUP. Despite their retirements, MARTI continues with its mission.

    Victor Garcia, the former associate director of Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Research at MARTI, is now the MARTI director. He is a professor of Anthropology and an expert on transnational labor migration and substance abuse among Mexican migrant farmworkers. Since the early 1990s, he has mainly conducted ethnographic research in southeastern Pennsylvania and central Mexico. His research also includes a number of Hispanic/Latino agricultural and decennial census projects for the US Department of Agriculture and Bureau of Census. As the former associate director of Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Research, Dr. Garcia also researched post-secondary recruitment and retention issues of Latino students and established programs aimed at these problems. The National Institutes of Health, US Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Census, and the Pennsylvania State System Office of Equity and Diversity have funded his research.

    Alex Heckert, professor of Sociology, is the director of Training. He has been a research fellow at MARTI since 1998. As director of training, Heckert will work with Crystal Deemer to continue offering the very popular Summer School Conference, which was conceived and started by Robert Ackerman over 20 years ago. The Summer School Conference will be cosponsored by the Administration and Leadership Studies Research and Training Center, which is based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and is directed by John Anderson and affiliated with the PhD program in Administration and Leadership Studies, housed in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Heckert will continue his scholarship on a variety of issues, such as intimate partner violence, deviance and crime theory, disabilities studies, public guardianship, and family sociology. His is coauthor of over 40 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals, book chapters, and encyclopedia articles, as well as numerous presentations at national and international conferences. Previous funded research has included predicting levels of abuse and reassault among batterers, evaluating an inclusion program for children with disabilities in day care settings, and an NSF instrumentation grant, among other projects.

    Other MARTI staff members are Crystal Deemer, MARTI training coordinator, research assistants, and graduate assistants. Jennifer Rahal-Moore is the project coordinator of the Caring about Latino Students Achievement program, a program of MARTI’s now-defunct Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Research division. Despite their retirements, Ackerman and Gondolf remain part of MARTI as research and training associates.

    MARTI has been notably successful in its training mission. From 1988 through 2007, MARTI had convened four professional training conferences a year in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia on such topics as women and addiction, antisocial personality and treatment, adult children of alcoholics, and self-defeating behaviors. In addition, MARTI continues to convene an annual five-day summer school at IUP featuring nationally recognized lecturers in the alcohol treatment, high-risk children, and domestic violence fields. The 1993 MARTI Summer School was held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, with over 500 participants in attendance.

    In 1997, the Cultural and Ethnic Diversity Research division was established under Victor Garcia’s directorship. It was created to expand MARTI’s research mission and to include the growing Latino population in Pennsylvania. Over the years, the division expanded it research projects to include Latino populations in other states, such as Texas and Michigan. Recently, in an effort to create partnerships to address diversity issues on campus, MARTI and the Frederick Douglass Institute initiated a consortium. The two plan to collaborate in future projects.

    MARTI has an established tradition of conducting research projects funded by regional foundations and state and federal agencies on domestic violence intervention and alcohol treatment. MARTI also has published empirical research and clinical advisement on adult children of alcoholics, alcohol treatment outcomes, alcohol abuse and domestic violence, court-action in domestic violence cases, psychiatric response to domestic violence, the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs, battered women's help-seeking, and problem drinking and drug use among migrant farmworkers.