Undergraduate Admissions Counselor Kevin Martin
Hometown: Mesquite, Texas
College Majors: History, Government & Humanities Honors
Territory: Dallas-Fort Worth Area
Office: Dallas Admissions Center
Q: Where are you from?
A: I am from Mesquite, Texas, just east of Dallas. I lived on the same street for my entire life until I left to go to college. I have an older brother of six years, and we are the first in my family to graduate from college. I played sports throughout my life and into my sophomore year of high school before foregoing sports in exchange for getting involved in high school speech and debate. Debate allowed me to pursue independent studies and develop research, writing, analytical, time-management, and communication skills that proved invaluable in college.
Q: Where did you go to college, and what did you study?
A: I attended UT Austin and graduated with degrees in government, history, and the Humanities Honors Program. I was also in the Freshman Liberal Arts Honors Program and received a certificate in International Studies from the Bridging Disciplines Program. Most people's initial reaction to "I have three majors" is one of surprise. However, I did not arrive at UT Austin having an idea of what I was going to study or major in; I just knew I wanted to do something in liberal arts.
After taking a few exploratory courses and interacting with a handful of key faculty members, in Liberal Arts Honors, my courses, and elsewhere, I developed a degree plan in Humanities Program centered around the study of conflict as peace. I eventually did fieldwork in both Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina dealing with human rights, social justice, and development as it relates to youth in post-genocide societies. These opportunities came as a direct result of significant support from the university and the flexibility to allow me to pursue a unique and individualized course of study.
Q: How long have you been working in higher education?
A: I graduated in May 2011. During college, I frequently worked as a speech and debate judge in Central Texas, which allowed me to interact with hundreds of students. Often, they asked questions about college, majors, and Texas football (among many other topics). My experiences in Bosnia and Rwanda also exposed me to interactions with youth in a cross-cultural setting. This combination of experiences made the job of an admissions counselor very appealing to me. I look forward to interacting with both students and parents.
Q: What are some of your favorite things to do in Austin?
A: I love going to Butler Park Pitch and Putt near downtown Austin. It's a great place to go and (cheaply) play golf and hang out with friends.
Q: What is your favorite place on campus?
A: My favorite place on campus, mostly when I was in my first two years of college, was the courtyard (know as the Honors Quad) in the middle of the honors dorms. Dormitory life is very social,and the courtyard provided many opportunities to meet new people, play four-square or football, and just generally hang out.
Q: What is your favorite UT Austin fact?
A: Contrary to orientation, there is, in fact, no two-headed turtle in the Turtle Pond behind the Main Building. I was disappointed after being told otherwise.
Advice for Prospective Students
- Balance: Balancing school work, your social life, and mental and physical well-being is crucial to having an enjoyable college experience.
- What major?: It is not the end of the world if you don't know what you want to major in or be when you graduate. It will be okay; everyone is going through the same process.
- Get out of town: Being on campus, especially in the dorms and without a car, can sometimes feel like a bubble. There are great things to do in Austin and the surrounding area. Get out and explore!
- Work efficiently: There is ample opportunity for leisure time in college; get your work done before it is due and balance your workload over a period of time instead of waiting until the last minute.
- Go abroad: My abroad experiences transformed me and who I am as a person. Get out of your comfort zone, try something new, and eat something questionable.