Jennifer Martinez-Chester

I was born and raised on Long Island, NY. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St. Joseph's College- Patchogue, NY in 2008. I also obtained my NY Secondary Education Certification and substituted for two years. In 2010, I decided to return to school for my PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I received my degree from Stony Brook University in 2015 and moved to Washington State to teach Introductory Biology at Evergreen State College. After two years of being uncertain that I was where I was supposed to be, in 2017 I joined my family that left NY and settled just north of Charlotte, NC. I left Washington State without a job or having any idea of what to do for income. I applied to retail stores, university laboratories, and medical centers, finally landing a job at an Amazon warehouse after two weeks of job searching. After being asked numerous times by co-workers "what is a person with a PhD. doing working here?", I began to ask myself the same question. In the meantime, I started filling out applications for lecturer and teaching positions for the 2018-2019 academic year, hoping to return to the university. But this meant working at Amazon or the like for an entire year while interviewing for teaching positions. Working in the warehouse was one of the most humbling experiences of my life. The stories I could tell!! However, the most important story was the result of a sequence of coordinated events that led to me meeting my husband. At the time I was a non-believer, tossing between agnostic and atheistic depending on the day. My now husband, Eric, was a Christian working at Amazon. At the time, I did not think twice about how we met... I was starting to train in a new department that just so happened to be the department where he worked. He just so happened to have returned from his vacation that day and was given the responsibility of training me. It just so happened that we got along really well and enjoyed the time we spent together. Neither one of us, at that time, realized that God orchestrated our meeting. Long story short, Eric and I went on 2 dates until he shared the gospel with me, within 3 weeks I became convicted and was born again. Within 2 months we were engaged, and exactly 6 months from our first date we got married. While we were dating I was offered this position at UNC-Wilmington as a lecturer for predominantly courses in the Online Accelerated Program. We purchased a house and I moved to Bolivia, NC in August 2018. After the wedding, Eric moved into the house and we joined the Sonrise Baptist Church in Southport, NC. One of our greatest blessings is our son Phinehas, born September 2019. It has truly been a blessing to see God work.

My Life

Favorite Quote

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:19

Friends describe me

Smart, tender-hearted, hard-working, caring.

My hobbies

Outdoor sports, bible study, board games, netflix, reading bible commentaries and biology textbooks/articles.

Fantasy dinner guests

Jesus, Darwin, Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale, and Leonardo da Vinci.

Best advice I ever received

Accept Jesus as Saviour. I'd rather find out I was wrong for believing and live a life for God, then to find out I was wrong for not believing and spend eternity in hell.

My undergrad alma mater

St. Joseph's College- Patchogue, NY

My worst subject in school


If I weren't a professor, I would

be in the medical field.

Favorite books

King James Bible, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Favorite movies

War Room, Peter Rabbit, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs, Despicable Me

Favorite city


Favorite coffee

I do not discriminate. 🙂 I love all coffee!

Nobody knows I

....well if I told then everyone would know.

Current Research

Incorporating active learning in online classrooms God and Science