UT Tyler Office of News and Information

Meet the Patriots: UT Tyler Senior Overcomes Odds to Succeed

September 17, 2010

Media Contact:
Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler

Editor’s Note: The University of Texas at Tyler prides itself on its remarkable ensemble of students and alumni. In this three-part feature series, “Meet the Patriots,” we will focus on some of those individuals.


Kristin Plucinski of Malakoff couldn’t be happier at The University of Texas at Tyler.

The senior mathematics major and UT Tyler Robotics Team president found a good formula for herself in the university: location, atmosphere and academics.

She considers the mathematics department and robots a strong second.

Born in Dallas, Plucinski calls Whitewater, Wis., her hometown but came back to the Lone Star State and eventually discovered UT Tyler.

“My husband and I moved down here to be closer to family who are from Dallas but currently live in Malakoff,” she explains. “While in Wisconsin, I found out about UT Tyler online. When I visited the campus, I fell in love with it. I like the smaller campus feel.

“I attended the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, and UT Tyler reminds me of that campus a lot, but set out in a park-like setting. With the two lakes and all the trees, the whole atmosphere was really inviting. This is definitely a good learning atmosphere.”

Attention Deficit Disorder and other health ordeals have not slowed her learning. She would rather probe over mathematics problems than her own.

“I haven’t let my learning disabilities and health problems stop me. I have plowed right on through,” Plucinski says proudly. “It takes me longer to process things. I have to do things very methodically. I arrange things so I can still perform well, so then I can get good grades without getting an unfair advantage on anybody else. I think it will make me a good math teacher, because I can understand where those kids with learning disabilities are coming from because I’ve been there.”

She also is delighted to be one of the robotics team members outside of the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

“My first semester here, I remember seeing a flyer, and it read, ‘All majors welcome.’ It sounded really cool. Currently, I’m one of two math majors on the team. I think it’s pretty neat that the math department is represented,” said Plucinski, who also a math club member.

Through the UTeach program, Plucinski plans to graduate in May 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with teacher certification. She later hopes to obtain a master’s degree at UT Tyler.

Aside from math and robotics, she enjoys painting, crafts and scrapbooking. Plucinski also is an ordained minister and conducts volunteer ministries.

She and husband Mark have one son, Dakota.

One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. More than 80 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,400 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.

Meet the Patriots Fall 2010 Feature Series:  

Meet the Patriots: 2008-09

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