In Their Words: Gina Tu

Name: Gina Tu 

Department: Economics Department

What Scholarship or Award did you receive? Robert J. Shepherd Economics Accounting Path Scholarship

What year are you? 2nd year

College: Rachel Carson College

Where do you call home?

I call San Francisco, California my home. I have always loved the city especially because it is a place of familiarity and comfort when I need to take a step back and relax. The city taught me a lot about myself, most notably my passion for giving back to community.

What is your field of focus?

My major is Business Management Economics with an emphasis in Accounting and I am minoring in Technology and Information Management.

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?

UC Santa Cruz stood out for me because San Francisco is within reasonable distance for me to return home when needed but the distance also allows for me to be independent and grow as an individual. Additionally, UC Santa Cruz has a reputable accounting program and I knew I wanted to stay in the Silicon Valley post-graduation to be more involved with the tech industry.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?

I aspire to work in the public accounting sector, focusing on auditing, within the Silicon Valley to utilize the knowledge acquired from my major and minor fields of focus. Within the next couple years, I plan to acquire my CPA, Certified Public Accountant, certification. My long-term goal is to discover ways to use my accounting degree and certification to give back to my community.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?

 My most memorable moment was during my 1st year during winter quarter. I was the Communications Manager and C-Quad Representative in the Rachel Carson College Council, formerly called the College Eight Senate. Although I loved those two officer positions, I knew I wanted to implement what I had been learning in my accounting classes to the Senate space. Halfway through the quarter, the Treasurer had to step down and requested a replacement. I lacked the courage and confidence in the beginning of the year to adequately perform well in the position, but immediately after the position opened, the Senate unanimously voiced their faith and confidence that I would be a qualified replacement. My personal growth and confidence acquired through my accounting classes in Santa Cruz gave me the courage to run for the position to serve my community. It was also during that moment that I felt I knew I wanted to remain actively involved with the university, later running to be the Rachel Carson College, formerly College Eight, representative for the Student Fee Advisory Committee. 

How will this scholarship/award impact your academic life/research?

This scholarship will alleviate the financial burden associated with attending college and allow students such as myself to focus more on pursuing our educational goals and making a difference in others’ lives. I will be more involved in the community, beyond being the Rachel Carson College undergraduate representative for the Student Fee Advisory Committee and the treasurer for the Rachel Carson College Council. Next year, I plan to volunteer and provide tax assistance to underserved communities through the VITA, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, program. 

What does this scholarship/award mean to you?

Being the inaugural co-recipient of the scholarship shows that Professor Shepherd’s legacy will remain even after his leave from the university. The impact he made to the Santa Cruz community is beyond his professional successes. Without his passion for accounting, the accounting program in UC Santa Cruz would not exist and furthermore, I would not be on the route to be an accountant.