Gloria Martinez-Arizala

Shoreview, MN, US
Field of Work 
Medtronic PLC
Job Title or "Student" 
Principal Process Development Engineer
University of Minnesota
Education Level 
Profile Biography 
I am originally from Cuba. My parents emigrated when I was a baby, and after a one year stay in Spain with my maternal grandfather's family, we ended up in Puerto Rico where I lived until I was 18. Since a very early age I was interested in Science and Math. Unfortunately, my very Cuban family felt it was odd for a girl to have such interests, so I was strongly steered into a musical career, studying piano since the age of 9. At 15, I entered the Music Conservatory of PR, to begin studies for a Bachelor's in Music. As much as I loved and still love music, my passion was always science, and I did not do well at the Music school. I had a baby at a very young age and did not remain in College as expected.
At 23, and with three kids, I started going to Georgia State University for a degree in Music, as my parents expected. At the time to sign up for classes, I decided to pursue a degree in Physics, much to my parents dismay. In time, they came to understand that this was what I had a passion for, and I think became proud of me! Thus, it was not easy for me to pursue my scientific interest, but I persevered and obtained my Bachelor's in Physics from Georgia State University, then a PhD in Physics from the University of Minnesota.
I started word after school in the medical device industry, where I worked for two years, then switched to an academic career for 2.5 years. I then decided it was best for my family, since I wanted to stay in Minnesota, for me to return to the world of medical devices, where I have remained for 19 years.
I currently work at Medtronic's Neuromodulation division in Fridley, MN. I am involved in the making of devices for treating chronic back pain, as well as deep brain stimulation devices.
The best part of my job is listening to the individual stories from patients that have Medtronic Neuro devices implanted, when they come to the company to talk to the employees. It is heartwarming and extremely gratifying to hear how these patients, young and old, have improved their quality of life by using our devices, and to hear them express their gratitude to us.
In my spare time I love spending time with my grandchildren, sewing, biking, watching independent films, and reading. I was a Girl Scout leader for nine years, and am currently volunteering with a First Robotics team in the Twin Cities since 2015.
Writing/blogging, Working outdoors, Dance, Reading, Travel, Other
Race & Ethnicity 
Hispanic or Latino
Level of Participation 
After-school visit, In-school visit, Job shadow, Summer camp visit
My Experience 
I have been a Role Model many times.
Evenings, Weekdays, Weekends
Career exploration activities, Fun demonstrations or materials
Program Affiliation 
SciGirls, Other
Other Program Affiliation 
IEEE-Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers
Other Interests 

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