Eddie Tu '11
Since its inception in 1982, the Honors Program at Randolph-Macon College has provided outstanding students with a unique mix of academic and social opportunities. Eddie Tu ’11 is living proof that the program is challenging, multi-faceted—and rewarding.
“The Honors Program means a lot to me,” says Tu, a mathematics major with a minor in English. He serves as the president of the program, which he praises for its non-traditional approach to learning.
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Specialized Areas of Study “The Honors program has amazing courses that cover topics not normally considered ‘academic,’” says Tu. “I have learned about very specialized and specific areas of study, and that provides a greater cultural perspective. ‘Death and Dying’ took a sociological perspective of suffering and death, and ‘It’s About Time,’ a physics and religion course, used the science of time to find a collaborative balance between religion and science in our society,” he says.
Tu credits Professor Emeritus and Honors Advisor Arthur Conway (biology) with getting him interested in the program, and Professors Jack Trammell (director) and Benjamin Huff (assistant director) with keeping the program vibrant and rigorous.
“Honors courses provide unique ways of learning, through films, music, art—even meditation—as we examine topics through a scholarly lens,” says Tu, who hails from Glen Allen, Virginia. “The program has given me a new way to examine and make connections between disciplines, think abstractly, and embrace the liberal arts.”
Organizations and Awards Tu is a member of Chi Beta Phi (Science Honor Society), Pi Mu Epsilon (Mathematics Honor Society), Sigma Tau Delta (English Honor Society) and Macon Outdoors. He has consistently made the Dean’s List, and he has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Phi Beta Kappa Freshman Recognition award; the Phi Beta Kappa Sophomore Recognition award (the Douglas W. Foard Award); the Moore-Peace Prize for an Outstanding Junior Mathematics Major; and First Place in R-MC’s Writing Contest in 2009. In addition, Tu works as a tutor in the Writing Center. "I take a lot of pride in helping students with their writing," he says.
More Than GPAs The Honors community is very important to Tu. “Honors students are motivated by more than just grades and GPAs,” he says. “We have social events, such as movie nights, an annual picnic, an annual banquet, and trips to Richmond. We also volunteer at Fall Fest each year, where we give back to the Ashland community by providing children with fun and safe Halloween activities. This year we hope to add more community and fundraiser events to our program.”
Thinking Ahead Tu participated in a research program in summer 2010 at James Madison University that was funded by the National Science Foundation. “It was an 8-week program, and I got to do new research in the field of computational complexity and graph theory of mathematics,” he says. It was a challenging program, and I was afforded this amazing opportunity with the help of my Randolph-Macon math professors, who prepared me in my abilities to carry out mathematical research.”
Tu is right on track for his post-R-MC plans. “I want to attend graduate school in mathematics, and I hope to earn a Ph.D. in math,” he says.
For more information on R-MC’s Honors Program, visit http://www.rmc.edu/academics/honors.aspx.