The Honors Community
- Poquoson, Va.
- Biomedical engineering.
Life experiences and family led Virginia Commonwealth University junior George Thomas to pursue a career in medicine. He grew up hearing his grandmother share stories of her work as an obstetrician/gynecologist in India, first sparking his interest in the medical field.
Then a family history of heart problems — his father has undergone two heart surgeries — pushed the biomedical engineering major toward cardiology.
“I always wanted to go out and help people,” Thomas said. “I think medicine is a big way to do that.”
The Honors College’s guaranteed admission program led Thomas to VCU and Richmond from his hometown of Poquoson, Va., in Hampton Roads. The program allows highly qualified honors students a variety of options for gaining admission to many of the professional health science programs and graduate programs of the university, including the VCU School of Medicine.
“The Honors College played a huge factor in my decision to come to VCU,” he said. “It provides a group of people and community who help you do well.”
Thomas lived in the honors-only West Grace Street Student Housing during his freshman and sophomore years. The benefits of having a private room, while remaining near other honors students and faculty — the first floor of West Grace includes The Honors College’s central office and a student lounge with a big-screen TV, couches and meeting space — appealed to Thomas.
“You get to know people better in West Grace,” he said. “Everything’s right here.”
Thomas also met others in the honors community serving as president of West Grace Hall Council and as a member of the Honors Student Advisory Board, where he gives feedback to faculty and recruits new students to the college.
“I’m building bonds a bit more with peers and faculty members,” Thomas said. “It’s all about getting involved and balancing your time well. Staying busy and balancing school with extracurricular activities are things I’ve done over the course of my life — it just happens a lot faster here than in high school so you have to get involved very quickly.”
“The Honors College played a huge factor in my decision to come to VCU.”