Martha Filipic was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1961. She earned a bachelor's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 1983 and a master's degree in journalism from Ohio State University in 1995.
In 1983, Filipic began her career at the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, working at first as the paper's education and health reporter, then moving over to the "courts and cops" beat. In 1986, she was named lifestyles editor. A year later, she joined the news and media relations unit with the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Ohio State University, primarily as a research writer. While she was working on her master's degree, much of her study focused on risk communication. Over the years, her work centered on issues involving food safety and nutrition, food science, family relations and consumer sciences.
In ACE, Filipic was chair of the writing SIG in 1994-95. She served as program chair for the 1997 ACE/NETC/ACT conference in Cleveland, Ohio, and was awarded the 1997 ACE Writing Award of Excellence. In 1996 she earned a Silver "Circle of Excellence" Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and her weekly "Chow Line" food and nutrition column won a first place award in writing from the National Association of Press Women.