Colin Drayton

Class Year



Lake Villa, Ill.




Political Science

Colin Drayton ’12, came to Carthage because of its outstanding academic reputation and itsscholarship opportunities. After talking to some family members who had attended Carthage, he knew that the College’s History and Political Science departments would be top quality.

“The History Department as a whole is able to create parallels into other subject areas outside of traditional history,” he said. “I have had classes that delved into classical political theory, traditional art and philosophy, as well as religion. Such interdisciplinary study helps me to understand the parallels between disciplines as well as to facilitate a better understanding of the subject in question.”

In summer 2011, Colin took part in the Smeds Executive Internship Program, an opportunity Carthage offers its students who have landed an internship and meet certain criteria. All students in the program must have a cumulative G.P.A. of at least 3.2 and have to be nominated by a faculty member for inclusion in the program. Colin’s internship was with Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh’s Fox Lake Office.

After completing this internship, Colin realized that he doesn’t necessarily want to go into politics, and is now focusing on a career in international law. His study of history helps him gain skills that are crucial for a legal career, such as critical thinking, analysis and argument formulation.

“History lends itself to a better understanding of other subjects, whether that is politics, classical studies or art,” he said. “I have always been interested in history and so pursuing studies in history seemed natural.”

I love the conversations that I have had outside of class, both with professors and my friends. Great conversations are rare, so it has been great when an impromptu meeting turns into a long conversation and involves politics, history and international issues.”

Colin Drayton, ’12

Career goal

“I am interested in working for a governmental agency that deals with international or comparative law such as the State Department.”

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

“I have a great deal of respect for many of the professors in the History and Political Science departments. I have a lot of respect for Professor Jonathan Marshall, who has counseled me regarding law school and the benefits of a legal education.”

Favorite class

“I have had several great classes. I learned a great deal about the intersection of government and politics in Professor Mast’sAmerican Political Institutions class. I have enjoyed Prof. Eric Pullin’s American Founding class, as so many of my friends are in it — which gives it a great atmosphere — and has led to some great discussions about the Founders.”

Campus involvement

He is treasurer of the history honors fraternity Phi Alpha Theta.

Toughest class

Senior Thesis was difficult owing to the tremendous amount of research that was condensed into one month. It took a lot of time to find a topic, get the research materials, read and skim everything, and then formulate an argument. Then I had to go through all of my notes to get information to put into the paper itself, and finally, editing and revising. This took up most of my time for the first two months of the semester.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I love the conversations that I have had outside of class, both with professors and my friends. Great conversations are rare, so it has been great when an impromptu meeting turns into a long conversation and involves politics, history, international issues, etc.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot would probably be in the library or any room on campus that overlooks the lake. Carthage’s lakefront setting is great, so I have tried to take advantage of the scenery. If I had to pick one spot, it would probably be the library, as I spend a lot of time on the computers or at a table studying.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise so far is how dynamic everyone is around me and the number of people who care enough to help each other. There are so many standout personalities who have made a difference in my life and made this a really fun journey.”

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

“History is a great major that will help students gain insight into the course of human history and become more knowledgeable about a myriad of subjects. In addition, there are many important skills that are fostered: critical reading, writing and forming arguments to name a few. My only caution would be to have a plan for after graduation. Many history students go on to law or graduate school or else become teachers or social workers. So talk to professors and try to figure out if history will help you in your endeavor to find a career.”