Graduating student-veterans are standout students, leaders

Jun 06, 2013

Three student-veterans—James Davidson, Adam Doden and Wesley Sorrill—are among some 730 students who will graduate from North Central College in 2013 and attend Commencement June 8.

Each veteran is a standout student. They are inductees to North Central’s SALUTE national honor society and were named the outstanding student in each of their academic majors at the College’s 2013 Honors Convocation.

Davidson (left), a chemistry major, had planned to pursue law enforcement after his service with the U.S. Marine Corps. Benefiting from the Post-9/11 GI Bill, he enrolled at North Central in 2011. A general education chemistry class opened his eyes to the practical applications of chemistry and he “loved it,” he says. “Finding something you love is important and I know chemistry is what I want to do.”

Davidson has been involved in the American Chemical Society student chapter and was awarded the American Legion Award at the College’s Student Leadership Awards dinner. After graduation, he heads to the University of Utah where he’ll serve as a teaching assistant and pursue a doctorate in analytical chemistry with a focus on fuel and aeronautical research.

Doden (left), an exercise science major with minors in psychology and wellness, transferred to North Central in 2011 to prepare for a career in strength and conditioning. A former U.S. Marine, Doden has accepted a full-time position as facility manager at Players Indoor Sports in Naperville and hopes to work with the Wounded Warrior program.

Sorrill (right), a biology major, also transferred to North Central in 2011 and previously served with the U.S. Air Force. Inspired by his mother, a nurse, to pursue medicine, Sorrill will begin medical school this fall at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

“James, Adam and Wesley are excellent representatives of the student-veterans who attend North Central College,” says Renard Jackson, the College’s student-veteran program advisor. “These men excel in their individual areas of academia while holding down jobs and responding to the day-to-day responsibilities of being a parent and/or spouse. Long hours on the front have prepared these veterans for the rigors of long hours in the lab or in the library. The scenery may have changed, but the determination remains the same.”

Jackson assists student-veterans with the financial and administrative aspects of campus life and plays a role in their cocurricular and extracurricular lives, helping them transition from service member to student.

North Central College offers a range of opportunities for military veterans transitioning to academic and civilian life. North Central earned the designation of a 2013 Military Friendly School by G.I. Jobs magazine for embracing America’s military service members and veterans as students. The College fully participates in both the Post-9/11 GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon veteran benefit programs. Veterans eligible for 100 percent of the Post-9/11 benefit, based on Department of Veteran Affairs guidelines, also qualify for Yellow Ribbon, ensuring that 100 percent of tuition is covered.