North Central College - Naperville, IL

James Davidson

Veteran Student

James Davidson '13 planned to pursue a career in law enforcement when he enrolled at North Central College. That quickly changed when he took a general education chemistry course.

“It opened my eyes to the field of chemistry and I changed my major,” said Davidson, who’s so fascinated by the subject that he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry after completing his undergraduate studies. “My passion came from the CHM 100 class. No matter what context you think about, chemistry is an essential part of it.  It’s in the plastics that make up my laptop, the liquid display of its monitor, the colors in my clothing, my toothpaste… Before my first fall term, I didn’t know what a molecule was. [Next fall] I'll be beginning my Ph.D. in chemistry.”

It’s not just the faculty members at North Central who have stood out to Davidson—he’s been equally impressed by the admission staff.

“Dealing with government paperwork is a monolith of a task,” said Davidson, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps. “The admission department handled it with great efficiency. There’s never been an issue.”

Davidson stays active on campus outside of class. He’s a member of two North Central student organizations: the Cycling Club and Student Members of the American Chemical Society (SMACS).

“I certainly would recommend North Central College to other veterans,” he said. “The student body has been quite accepting and open to veterans; I know a couple other vets in the science department. Also, a hat tip to our fearless advisor and mentor Dr. Renard Jackson. He’s always on top of his game whenever any of us veterans need anything. He’s an outstanding friend to have.”