Yakima’s Cecilia Martinez Honored During Gabriel Cárdenas Banquet

PULLMAN, Wash. — Cecilia Martinez, a Washington State University student from Yakima,
was honored last month during WSU’s 20th annual Cabriel Cárdenas Banquet.
A WSU junior political science major, Martinez was one of two students receiving
scholarships honoring the event’s namesake. She also was named Chicana del Año by WSU’s
The daughter of Ana and Mario Martinez of Yakima, Martinez is a graduate of Yakima’s
Eisenhower High School and Yakima Valley Community College.
At WSU she is involved in a variety of activities, including Children of Aztlán Sharing
Higher Education career day, Society of Latina/o Engineers and Scientists high school
visitations, Mujeres Unidas public relations coordinator and Semana de la Raza Task Force
Committee co-chair. She also works part-time in the university’s Office of Student Affairs.
At the time of his death in an automobile accident in 1977, Gabriel Cárdenas had completed
all course work for his WSU education doctoral degree. His parents, Carmen and Tony Cárdenas
of Moses Lake, attended the banquet. They created the scholarship to encourage
Chicano/Latino students at WSU.
Los Campesinos de Michoacan, a mariachi band from Yakima, entertained at the banquet,
the final event of Semana de la Raza for 1999 at WSU.