Spartans of UD: De'Shaun Madkins

Feb 21, 2018

Spartans of UD highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus. De’Shaun Madkins is a senior triple major in criminal justice, sociology, and English. He is president of Phi Theta Psi and the Latino/a Cultural Organization, secretary of the Student Government Association, and treasurer of the Alpha Nu Chi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. Madkins is also a former Wendt Character Scholar and he participated in the 2017 Joseph and Linda Chlapaty Summer Fellowship.

De'Shaun Madkins - Spartans of UD
Senior Criminal Justice, Sociology, and English Student

1. Why did you choose UD?

“I committed to UD after visiting the campus and speaking to Professor Ben Bartels about the Iowa Law 3 + 3 Program. As a student interested in law school, I was fascinated with the idea of completing my undergraduate degree and a law degree in about six years.”

2. How has your involvement in student organizations such as Phi Theta Psi, the Latino/a Cultural Organization, the Student Government Association, Alpha Nu Chi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, and the Wendt Character Scholar program impacted your life?

“My involvement on campus in the various activities listed has allowed me to improve academically, morally, and spiritually. I can say that my participation in the pre-law mediation team has strengthened my oral communication skills and also helped me find purpose in my speech. Morally, the Wendt Character Scholar program gave me the tools and resources to challenge myself and my peers when we are in difficult situations. The three years of lectures, fellowship, and growth in the program remains the most influential part of my college career.”

3. Why did you decide to triple major in criminal justice, sociology, and English? How have you been able to balance school work with life outside the classroom?

“I decided to become a triple major because I had so many interest that were all unique to me that I did not want to give up. From writing poetry, helping parties negotiate issues, and conducting social research, I have found a bit of passion in all these areas making it hard to just settle for one. This wasn't always an easy task. After organizing my schedule, staying on top of assignments, remembering why I was doing it all in the first place, and scheduling in self-care times, I was able to make it all work.”

4. What advice would you give to future Spartans?

“My biggest advice to future Spartans is to never doubt yourself. Coming in as a first-generation college student, I had a lot of things stacked against me according to statistics. There were times where I did not think I would be able to pass a class let alone make it into grad school. Through hard work, dedication, and an amazing support system here at UD and afar I accomplished everything I set out for ... and they can to. Hold on to your dreams and keep working at them until they become your reality. The only person who can stop you is yourself. Don't let statistics deter you. They are oftentimes flawed anyways.”

5. Where do you see yourself after graduating college?

“After graduation, I will be going to graduate school. I have not decided where yet because I have two amazing offers right now and I am waiting on the third. Three weeks ago I was admitted into the Silver School of Social Work at New York University. If I accept this offer, I would have the luxury of studying/working on social policy reform in Shanghai, China, for a year. Just last week I was admitted into The Heller School for Social Policy and Management where, if I accept, I will be pursuing a joint degree in international law and human rights and conflict resolution and coexistence. At Heller I would have the opportunity to study in Costa Rica for a year. This week I should be receiving a decision from my third and final option, which I have had my heart set on for a while. With these other two offers it’s going to be a tough call to make.”