Photography by Lance Holt
After seeing a few simple snap shots of campus, Eric Godat decided a visit was is order. “I fell in love with the campus,” he says. “And scholarships didn’t hurt either.”
However, Eric quickly realized that life at Southwestern wasn’t going to be as easy as high school was for him. “I realized that the professors here expect the best and are willing to go above and beyond to challenge you,” he says. His mom’s advice after he failed his first test in Calculus III? “It’s college; it’s supposed to be hard.” Eric ended up with an A in the class.
Now, after graduating from Southwestern, the physics and mathematics major (and avid Dallas Cowboys fan) believes he is significantly more mature and independent. “I feel like I can function in the real world now.”
In class and around campus, Eric participated in a variety of activities and organizations that lead him to believe that he can “contribute to the world both in my field and outside it.” For example, Eric says he became something of an expert on campus for renewable energy.
His involvement in Math Club, Physics Club and Pi Mu Epsilon mathematics honor society, as well as the King Creativity Symposium (for which he presented the solar collector and thermal battery he created), allowed Eric to take what he learned in the classroom into the “field,” so to speak. In true liberal arts fashion, he also spent several summers as a camp coordinator and instructor at Art Splash Summer Camp in Dallas.
These experiences are all likely to enhance his time at Southern Methodist University, where he is now working on both masters and doctorate degrees in high-energy theoretical physics, as well as working as a teaching assistant in the SMU physics department.
Eric credits his faculty and staff advisers with always being available to talk and to providing invaluable help for both his projects and life in general, and says the best lesson he learned as a student was that “research is never finished; you just work hard, and hope to make deadlines and stay under budget.”
What will he miss most about Southwestern? “…the campus atmosphere, the relationships I built with professors and my peers, and (of course) the Saturday morning research doughnuts in FJS (Fondren Jones Science Hall)!”
Kings of creativity
Established as a “pilot project in creativity” in 2000 by W. Joseph “Joey” King ’93, the King Creativity Fund annually supports a wide variety of innovative and visionary projects by Southwestern students.