A non-traditional life: Cory Tracy
April 3, 2012
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When Cory Tracy isn’t in class, he is tutoring other students or riding his unicycle around campus.
Tracy, who tutors math students at the Academic Support Center in McCutchen Hall, said his love of math is a new interest for him.
“My long term goals are to get my PH.D.,” Tracy said. “After I’ve gained enough experience in the math field, I think I would enjoy teaching at a college level.”
Tracy said he finds it very gratifying to help others “get math,” especially when they have never found it rewarding before.
Tracy started his academic career as an engineering major, but now his focus lies strictly in mathematics.
Dr. Shubhangi Stadler, professor of mathematics at UW-Waukesha, said Tracy is amazing.
“Cory [Tracy] took every single mathematics course available at UW-Waukesha, and even after this, he said he didn’t want a summer to go by without Math,” Stadler said.
To continue his math during summer, Tracy took an independent study on String Theory.
“It’s simply not enough to succeed on his own,” Stadler said. “If Tracy sees others struggling, he has to try and help them.”
Stadler said this quality is what makes Tracy such an excellent teacher.
At 30, Tracy has worked numerous jobs, including driving a truck for eight years, and maintaining a golf course.
“Whenever I feel like school is getting to be a bit much, I just think back to how miserable I was working long days for low pay, simply because I didn’t go to college,” Tracy said.
Tracy’s hobbies include sailing a 22’ Oday Cruising Sloop on Lake Winnebago, skydiving with friends, flying the Wisconsin countryside, and riding his unicycle.
“I learned how to ride a unicycle just before I came to UW-W,” Tracy said. “I ride pretty much everywhere within a four-mile radius.”
Tracy is involved in several campus organizations including Student Math Association, Golden Key, and has recently accepted the position of president of the Adult Student Connections organization.
“I enjoy learning and that will always be a motivation in my life,” Tracy said. “Each organization has so much to teach me that I couldn’t go to college without them.”
Jennifer Meyer, a junior at UW-Whitewater, said she struggled with Math and was tutored by Tracy.
“He understands that everyone has a different learning style,” Meyer said. “He teaches you in a way you’ll understand.”
Tracy earned his associates degree at UW-Waukesha in December 2010, and he expects to graduate from UW-Whitewater in May 2013 with a major in mathematics, an emphasis in statistics, and minors in actuarial math and finance.
The beauty of math is its unfailing logic and the inherent ability to be absolutely right,” Tracy said.