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Florida State University


"Growing up in China, I experienced a rigid educational system; the teachers frowned upon any nontraditional idea. In America, the professors encourage original, creative thought. Since I was little, I've had this drive to see how much I can accomplish in life, and FSU provides the perfect outlet for my energy," says Grace Chi, an Honors student who will graduate in April with two Bachelor of Science degrees and three majors—Risk Management/Insurance, Finance, and Real Estate.

"Also, FSU helps students by awarding financial support, which makes the path to knowledge even brighter"—Grace has received ten academic scholarships. Plus, American Field Service Intercultural Programs recognized her with a full Award for Excellence, enabling her to study in France for an entire academic year. Carrying a minor in French—a language with "expressions that do not exist in any other language"—Grace served as a cultural ambassador for America while studying at the Lycee Ambroise-Brugiere.

Another cultural bridge is Business, which she believes "brings countries together through import, export, license, franchise, joint ventures, etc." Realizing that the "world needs more business professionals with diverse cultural backgrounds," Grace chose to carry three Business majors "to acquire the necessary skill sets." And she is taking full advantage of the Department of Risk Management's external partnership, which allows students to pursue professional designation while still attending college. Before graduation, Grace hopes to have completed the requirements for the University Associate Certification in Risk Management.

Grace attributes her accomplishments in Risk Management to Professor and Eminent Scholar James Carson. "He sparked my interest in the program, and then he gave me the chance to see the academic side of Insurance. Last summer, I traveled to Canada with department faculty for the annual meeting of the American Risk Insurance Association. This summer, I will attend Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting in Omaha. Because of Dr. Carson's wise advice, I plan to obtain corporate experience first, so that if later I do pursue an academic career, I can do so whole-heartily."

Having been in the Honors Program since a freshman, Grace has completed over 18 hours of Honors coursework, for which she'll soon receive an Honors Medallion and which she will wear at spring commencement. She'll take with her fond memories of the years she spent living in FSU residence halls—"It boosts your college experience; I highly recommend it."

After graduation, Grace will begin working for BP. "I have a great interest in the energy field because of the growing need for sustaining conventional resources while developing unconventional technology to meet consumer demand. My passion for alternative energies (wind, solar, ethanol) turned me on to this 'greener' energy company."

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