One student is drafted as campaign manager and, after helping her candidate win a seat in the Virginia General Assembly, is appointed the delegate’s chief of staff. Another student travels abroad to study women expatriated for crimes. A former student gets to view an unusual surgery rarely performed in the United States. The common thread binding these students together is the Honors Academy.
The Academy provides numerous benefits to RU students and professors and serves as a focal point for the promotion and recognition of scholarship at RU. It provides broader academic opportunities to talented students and is a catalyst for outstanding student achievement.
The Academy includes the honors curriculum and a residential community based in Floyd Hall. Students wo gain admission to the Honors Academy must craft a plan that outlines how they will satisfy the curriculum requirements of the Academy. The 320 total Honors Academy students represent all undergraduate colleges and departments.
Before graduating, Honors Academy students must complete a capstone project they devise with assistance from an advising professor. Each project is a summation of the student’s development and experience throughout the Honors curriculum.
English professor Jolanta Wawrzcyka, who chairs the Honors Academy Advisory Board, refers to the Academy as “a forum for people who get creative.”
“Honors Academy students are given opportunities that go beyond ordinary classroom opportunities,” she says. As an example of the kinds of opportunities that exist and the kind of students taking advantage of those opportunities, Wawrzycka talks about a student she advises, Emily Belcher.
“I gave her the freedom to pursue exactly what she wanted to learn,” says Wawrzycka, “She has taken the fullest advantage of everything the Academy could offer.”