One of Ohio Nu’s most decorated brother ever is our very own Martin Barnard. He is graduating with a double major in film and music, but his hard work does not stop there. Martin has been the Student Government Senator, 1964 Society Presidential Student Ambassador and Vice President, Vikings Expedition Logistics Chair, Vice President and co-founder of the 7th Art Film Club, President of IFC (InterFraternity Council), the Alumni Association Student Associate for the CSUAA, and CSU Orientation Leader for CSU Admissions. All of these prestigious positions held, yet that does not include the positions in his most prized achievement of all: being a brother in the Ohio Nu chapter. Martin has been a part of Ohio Nu since the 2016 Fall semester. Since then, he has experienced his fair share of highs and lows with the chapter. One of his unique point of views is the fact that he joined the chapter before it officially chartered, so this makes Martin a founding father. He was present in the room, along with the rest of the chapter, the day they received the phone call that delivered the news that Ohio Nu was now a chapter. In Martin’s own words, “If you could have been there to witness the change in tone when it was announced that Ohio Nu would receive its Charter in the coming semester, then you would have felt the enormous pulse of energy that flowed through nearly everyone in the room and beyond!”
Pictured above are the Ohio Nu brothers on April 8th, 2017 with the official charter certificate. Martin is four spots down from the top right.
Martin went on to say that he used that energy and and his Big’s, Constantine Kiriakou, advice to catapult him forward with confident strides. At the time, Martin was only a film major, but he used this confidence and advice to re-audition and become a music major. During chapter elections, he ran for Vice President of Communications which is huge for someone who did not even have a full semester under his belt. Although he did not win, Martin was not hurt as he states, “It’s okay, I was young and still gave it my all.” As fate had it, he would go on to become the Vice President of Communications after the brother that won it had to drop due to an internship. Martin’s ambition would not stop there. At the next elections, Martin, now a sophomore, ran and won Chapter President “by a mere one vote over my opponent.” He, to this day, cannot explain how or why it happened. Martin would go on to later become Chaplain, attend four Carlson Leadership Academies, attend the Ruck Leadership Institute, and have the honor of being selected for Tragos Quest to Greece.
Marty, pictured above, during the Tragos Quest to Greece.
These experiences in Ohio Nu SigEp have, “broke me down to my core and built me back up into someone who had tried, failed, picked back up, and became experienced in such an in-depth path that brought an entirely different face to the chapter as a whole,” Martin said. Remember all of Martin’s accolades outside of SigEp? He goes on to say, “none of my experiences, opportunities, recognition, or mentees looking towards my example could have happened without Ohio Nu in the first place.”
Post graduation, Martin will not stop pursuing knowledge. He is returning to Cleveland State graduate school for two and a half years in order to acquire an MBA with a certificate in entrepreneurship. To add on, Martin will also be looking to make an idea of his hit off; he plans to eventually launch a new Entertainment & Arts Festival that unites musicians, painters, storytellers, chefs, filmmakers of all kinds from all over the world. The goal in mind being to use this festival as a platform to accelerate Cleveland’s spot in the growing and evolving international entertainment industry. Martin affirms this with the following, “I believe that the fine arts are sometimes overlooked in our society, and I want to be sure that we can place a greater emphasis on exploring creativity, imagination, the value of entertainment and humanity in the future.” His biggest goal is to find a medium that brings people together and inspire deep storytelling and improve quality of life for all people. Concerning Ohio Nu, Martin said, “I have the highest confidence that Ohio Nu and the leaders that emerge from it will surpass my abilities without question in the future.”
For anyone thinking about joining, Martin has advice for you, “Ohio Nu will certainly give you an enormous and incredible return on investment, and you will all elevate as individuals if you take everything by the horns and run with it.” Martin left pieces of wisdom for current younger brothers in the chapter. Such advice as engaging in more meaningful conversations, listening to your Big and Little because both will have constructive advice to share, ask your hardest questions because it may be your only chance before life comes at you, be willing to learn while also being genuine and willing to fail, and finally, fail with your brothers surrounding you and share the values of VDBL because you will grow as individuals. Applying for events such as Ruck and Tragos is highly recommended by Martin because those are big leaps that pay off, and everyone can do it. Most importantly, never stop reflecting on yourself; write, read, listen, think, pray, but learn who you really are, and Martin cannot specify this enough, “be that person.”
Out of the various things from the Ohio Nu chapter, there is one that Martin will miss above all. This being the willingness of brothers to actively listen to each other when serious life topics are being discussed. Martin restates, “I am grateful for talks like these because that is how I really grow to know you all.” He mentions that that every brother is always there to support one another whenever life gets hard and the worst seems to happen. Everyone is always there ready to hear a brother out and give feedback.
Martin has seen many things at Ohio Nu, so he has many favorite memories of his time here. More in-depth, Martin says this memories revolving around his Big and both of his Littles. Talking about his big, Martin went on to say, “Constantine Kiriakou provided me with endless love and support as my Big,” and, “If anyone has anything to thank me for, you better go talk to my Big first. You owe him all of your honest gratitude and appreciation. Martin’s two Littles are Stephen Matz and Louis Iaquinto. About Stephen, Martin claims that he is Martin’s SigEp Guardian Angel, and the SigEp part could be scratched out and it would still apply. According to Martin, Stephen has always been there for him during his worst emotions/situations, and he is always offering his heart to the world without being pulled to do it. As Martin puts it, “do me a favor, and thank him for keeping me sane and supporting me through everything. Stephen is my hero, and no one else is likely to fill this very special place in my heart.” Martin says this joy doubled once Louis was added to the family. He has loved every second of being Louis’s Big. Louis and him are able to respectfully share some of their worst opinions about each other without getting offended. Martin is not the most comfortable about his body, so Louis motivated him, and got Martin to go to the gym once per week with him while also helping him to eat better. martin has learned a lot, but his family has taught him that he can still grow his knowledge.
As a surprise to Martin, we got our current brother Jordan Funk, who is close friends with Martin, to comment on Martin’s graduation. Jordan states, “Prior to college, he was a sensitive, quiet, goofy kid. Today, he is an outgoing, driven, young man. SigEp has helped Marty exemplify the best qualities that were inside him all along and grow as a person. As someone who has known Marty practically his whole life, I am really proud of the young man that he has grown into. I don’t know if the growth I have seen in Marty would’ve have been possible without this fraternity. That being said, Marty has truly made this fraternity his own and help shaped it into the outstanding organization that we have today. I have no doubt that great things await Marty outside of undergrad; and I wish him the best of luck in the next chapter of his life. Congratulations brother!”
Martin finished by saying, “Thank you for creating a more vulnerable and genuine soul in me, Ohio Nu. I love each of you dearly.” However, it is us here at Ohio Nu that would like to thank you, Martin. You joined this chapter as a quiet kid that was scared of trying new things, and you are leaving one of the most outgoing and expressive brothers that continues to inspire the future generations of brothers by all the challenges you took head on. The amount of brothers who you have assisted in many ways is extraordinary. Some would say that Martin would not be the same without Ohio Nu, but the same can be said about Ohio Nu without Martin. Wherever you end up, you will always have a home here at Ohio Nu.