A feeling of uncertainty gnawed at Jonathan Madison in 2012 during a pivotal time in his life. He thought he should go to college, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted.
Enrolling at Salt Lake Community College changed all of that. It was while meeting a general education requirement that he had an epiphany, for which he credits former SLCC anthropology instructor Jennifer Campbell. “Thanks to an amazing professor and course, I fell in love instantly with the field of anthropology,” he says. “Anthropology, specifically archaeology, united my love of history with science and real-world applications.”
Jonathan, 27, graduated from SLCC in 2014 with an associate’s degree in general studies and the momentum he needed to continue his post-secondary education. Next up – the University of Utah. “My AA from SLCC allowed me to insert seamlessly into the U of U system,” he says. “The quality of my anthropology course at SLCC helped me feel ahead of many of the other students in the department.” Energized, he completed a double major in anthropology and history at the U of U, despite being discouraged by some not to pursue a degree in history “…because it had no real-world application.”
Jonathan, who lately has called Washington D.C. his home, set his sights even higher and was accepted to the Latin American and Hemispheric Studies Program at George Washington University’s prestigious Elliott School of International Affairs, where he earned his master’s degree. Now he wanted nothing less than a PhD and began applying to multiple institutions. “Eventually, I found out that I had been accepted to the number-one ranked history program in the world at the University of Oxford. I was shocked and humbled all at once,” he recalls.
Jonathan has dubbed the time he will spend in England as his “crowning achievement for a long academic career.” That first step of enrolling at SLCC and taking that one anthropology class was the critical catalyst he needed. “I would not have been able to get into Oxford for my doctorate if I had not started out with the excellent education at SLCC,” he says. “I truly believe that SLCC is vastly superior to many other two-year institutions in the way it prepares you for future success. I am about to begin living my dream, and it all started with my experience at Salt Lake Community College.”