Martin Dean Dupalo is political scientist, community volunteer, and citizen of East Las Vegas since 1980. As a political scientist, he joined the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) November 2003 as an instructor for the Department of Political Science, and taught until 2010.
He had attended UNLV as an undergraduate earning two bachelor’s degrees in Communications and Political Science. In his sophomore year, Dupalo earned the prestigious Harry S Truman Congressional Scholarship for academics and commitment to public service. He attended Carnegie Mellon, Heinz School of Public Policy, earning his Masters in Public Management.
Before teaching, Dupalo continued a family tradition of military service. He proudly served as an Emergency Actions Officer and later trained as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force. After serving four years and receiving an honorable discharge, he began teaching, first at the local community college, Clark County Community College, and then at four year state college, Nevada State College, until pursuing teaching at UNLV. While waiting for a date to enter Officer Training School, Dupalo earned two associates degrees in fire fighting and served as a wildland firefighter/EMT.
His affiliation with UNLV has spanned some 34 plus years since 1975, when Dupalo was 8 years old and attended a summer program while his father attended classes.
Dupalo has served the community in several capacities, one earning him a National Point of Light, and another, a Jefferson Award. He founded and managed two simple programs to recover and provide food to shelters over the course of four years, and continues to do so. He was also recognized as Citizen of the Month by the City of Las Vegas for several of his continuing volunteer efforts. One of those community volunteer efforts was as a member of the Community Development Review Board for the City of Las Vegas since 2002 through 2008 where he and other community leaders evaluated and recommended funding for approximately 80 community non-profits annually for approximately five million plus annually. A former Boy Scout Explorer, Dupalo has volunteered over the years in several capacities including a hospice with a K-9 therapy dog, serving as a CASA volunteer and as a nonprofit executive board member for a domestic violence shelter since 2005.
Both inspired and saddened by a story of strife and tragedy in a national publication, in 2008, Dupalo led a small team in an effort to send medical supplies to US soldiers to be distributed to civilians in war torn areas. For this initiative and effort, he was recognized with an Angel Award as Humanitarian of the Year.
His family history shaped many of his actions towards public service. A military brat, Dupalo was born at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in West Germany. He was one of two sons born to an American career-military father and a German mother. While his father had endured many hardships growing up in Buffalo, New York, his mother had also survived hardship in war ravaged Germany and subsequently the communist blockade of Berlin and ensuing Iron Curtain. At age seven, she was one of the grateful children who survived because of the American Berlin Airlift effort of 1948.
In 2007, Dupalo was nominated for the Jean Ford Democracy Award for his efforts over 20 years, since 1986, of serving directly in the election process including as a volunteer site coordinator, precinct chairperson, clerk positions and several two-year deputy field registrar appointments, utilizing his Spanish speaking ability to assist in registration efforts, as well as his focus in the classroom on the democratic process.
Dupalo has served as both a public and community affairs officer including as an associate news producer and writer. He was available as a speaker for the community through the UNLV Speakers Bureau program.
In 2006, at age 39, he ran unsuccessfully for public office for the nations 5th largest school district for trustee, earning 42% of the vote in the general election. In 2010, his second attempt for public office was quickly dashed after being struck by a vehicle illegally running a red light and as a result undergoing spinal surgery.
Dupalo is proficient in Spanish and introductory German.
In 2006, he earned Honorable Mention in the first annual Robert Warren Carmer Memorial Prize for Creative Writing. Originally entitled “A Replacement History of Las Vegas.”
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