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Advisory Board Member Fay Martin Stays Busy With Many Activities

July 1, 2013 - 12:00pm


Fay Martin is a very busy person. She’s an athlete. She’s a writer. She’s an artist. She’s involved in the community. The multitude of trophies, awards, certificates, and samples of her work proves that she has been doing all of these things for a long time.

She is also a member of the Oak Ridge Site Specific Advisory Board (ORSSAB), a federally appointed citizens’ panel that provides independent advice and recommendations to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Environmental Management (EM) program to clean up portions of the Oak Ridge Reservation. With all she does why would she want to be a member of ORSSAB? “I want to remain involved; to continue to be a helping hand on the board,” she says, “and I think DOE listens to what the board says through the recommendations it makes.” Fay is the vice chair of the board’s Stewardship Committee.

Her background as a tennis player is quite amazing. “I’ve been playing tennis all my life,” she says. “I started out with a wooden racket playing at boarding school in Jamaica.” She has competed almost the entire time, and she still competes. Fay has scores of trophies from competitions all over the U.S. and the world.

Here’s just a few of her accomplishments. She was the women’s 55 singles champion in the 1996 Tennessee State Open. She won a gold medal for women’s singles in the 1993 National Senior Olympics and took home silver medals in 1995 and 1997. Fay
Through the U.S. Tennis Association, Fay competed with the U.S. Friendship Cup Team, which earned a silver medal in 2011 in Poertschach, Austria.

She even won a men’s B singles title in the Oak Ridge city leagues in 1967. “They didn’t have enough women for my division so they asked me to play in the men’s division.”

In addition to the many trophies she has won, Fay was inducted into the Oak Ridge and Knoxville Sports Halls of Fame in 1998. But it’s not just about competing. “I really enjoy the travel and the camaraderie with all the people.” She has also competed in the long jump, high jump, javelin throw, and badminton in the Senior Olympics.

As an artist, Fay has done a number of paintings and mixed media works that she has exhibited at the Anderson County Fair. She has won many prizes for floral arrangements at the fair. Her interest in botany led her to the Oak Ridge Garden Club, in which she currently serves as its vice-president.

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning, where she is a member of the Curriculum Committee, she has taken a number of classes in literature, poetry, art, and science. She received a Trophy of Excellence in 2004 from the Famous Poets of America.

As a community volunteer she worked many years with the Oak Ridge YWCA and has served as the Y’s board president. She received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Fay has served on the board of Girls, Inc., and has given tennis lessons to students registered with the city recreation department and Girls, Inc.

Fay is currently the vice president of the American Association of University Women, Oak Ridge chapter. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Women in Science in 1997, having served as president for many years. She currently serves on the Oak Ridge City Health and Educational Facilities Board.

Fay is a native of Jamaica. She attended St. Andrew’s High School for Girls and was offered a scholarship to the University College of the West Indies, where she received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry/botany/zoology. She later received a scholarship to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, earning a master’s degree in biology.

It was at McMaster where she met her husband Murray, a physicist. Shortly after they were married in 1963 he was offered a job in Washington, DC, and later was transferred to Oak Ridge. Fay began working in the biology lab at Oak Ridge National Lab in 1964 and had several assignments over the years. She also worked part-time at the Technical Information Center writing abstracts.

Fay continued her education while working, and in 1984 she earned a doctorate in environmental toxicology from the University of Tennessee. She retired from the lab in 1996.

Fay is a member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and has served on the vestry. She has been co-president of Church Women United and is on the Women’s Interfaith Dialogue steering committee. She has served on the board of the local League of Women Voters and was president of the East Tennessee Chapter of the Society for Risk Analysis.

Fay has even performed in several plays and musicals at the Oak Ridge Playhouse, with her favorite role as Josephine in “The Mad Woman of Chaillot.”

Fay and Murray recently celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. They have four adult children, Kathy, Derek, Karen, and Debra and five grandchildren.