James Durdan

Class Year

’19

Hometown

Grand Ridge, Illinois

Major(s)

International Political Economy, Economics

Minor(s)

Spanish

James Durdan ’19 comes from tiny Grand Ridge, Illinois, but coming to Carthage has allowed him to see the world. He’s traveled to Canada and Guatemala and is “now trying to go to as many countries as I can.”

During his trip to Guatemala, he was inspired to write poetry and that poetry earned him the Global Heritage Scholarship at the 2017 Celebration of Scholars.

“I chose Carthage because it felt special the first time I came to it for a visit. The guide was friendly, the campus was small, and it was incredibly generous in giving me scholarships.”

James Durdan, ’19

Career goal

“I hope to continue to travel and to learn about the world about me. Specifically, I hope I find a job that allows me to travel and uses me in order to make the world a better place.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“Professor Edward Montanaro has had a great impact on my current life course. “I went on a Guatemalan J-Term trip with him. Before going, I was nervous about going to a foreign country, but after going with him, I am now trying to go to as many countries as I can. He truly opened my eyes to the joys of world travel and I am planning on going to Costa Rica, South Africa, and Lesotho in the coming months. Thanks, Ed! You truly fueled by desire to see the world!”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has probably been Apocalyptic Imaginings with Professors David and Annette Duncan. We read all kinds of apocalyptic literature and I loved discussing stories from the Bible. I have always been fascinated by antiquity and this class allowed me to continue my love for literature.”

Toughest class

“International Relations has been my toughest class. The expectations of the professor are high and my personal standards are high.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I have been able to travel to Guatemala and Canada due to Carthage-organized trips. They were well organized and were definitely worth the money. Also, due to my Guatemalan trip, I was able to win the Global Heritage Scholarship due to the Spanish poetry that I wrote while in Guatemala.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I have truly enjoyed watching Packer games with my roommate, seeing campus movies with my friends, and doing volunteer activities with multiple on-campus organizations.”

Favorite spot on campus

My favorite spot on campus is probably the Student Union Auditorium. I have seen so many good movies there and I always enjoy going there with friends to see the newest blockbusters.

Biggest surprise so far

“My biggest surprise for me so far is that I am now a Spanish minor. Originally, I planned to just take the required Spanish classes and then I would be done. But, I kept having continued success in them and I truly enjoyed them. That unexpected desire to continue my Spanish allowed me to go on the Guatemalan Spanish language immersion trip and it has opened up my world immensely.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“He would think that I am going to see all the places that he read in his favorite history books.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“If you want to learn about a large set of subjects, and be able to speak intelligently about almost any issue, my majors are the ones for you.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because it felt special the first time I came to it for a visit. The guide was friendly, the campus was small, and it was incredibly generous in giving me scholarships.”