Jack Thornton ’17: Charting His Own Path
Finding an academic home in sociology at Grinnell
Like many college students, Jack Thornton ’17 didn’t begin his time at Grinnell with a major in mind. Instead, he took various classes, trying out many departments and courses to see which ones felt like a good fit. When he found sociology, he knew he had found his academic home.
Hailing from Lincolnwood, Illinois, Thornton discovered that he could chart his own path at Grinnell — a new academic experience for him. The College’s sociology classes challenged him and sparked his curiosity, with topics ranging from human sexuality to race to gender.
Sociology at Grinnell is an open major, Thornton says, allowing students to explore many different topics within the department. His enjoyment of his classes, coupled with the enthusiasm and dedication of his professors, created a fulfilling college experience.
Thornton says he wouldn’t change anything about his time at Grinnell. He advises students to take advantage of all the opportunities available at the College. Thornton appreciates the deep understanding of sociology he developed and says that he believes Grinnell is the place to be for students looking for a well-rounded, enriched liberal arts college experience.
Through his experiences at Grinnell, Thornton discovered a path to a career. He is now pursuing doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and plans to be either a sociology professor or researcher.
“If you care about your education, Grinnell is the place to go,” Thornton says.