Madison Gladwell, ’20, embodies what it means to be a student-athlete. As Student Chair of the Honors Committee, she takes her studies seriously. She is double majoring in psychology and political science with a concentration in pre-law and plans to attend law school after graduation.
As a player on both the soccer and basketball teams, she’s equally committed to her athletics.
In soccer, Madison received the team’s Spirit Award her sophomore year, and she has received USA South All-Academic honors in both soccer and basketball. According to Madison, her athletic involvement has contributed significantly to her Meredith experience.
“Being a student-athlete has allowed me to become a much more outgoing person,” she said. “My teammates have become lifelong friends who encourage me in everything I do and help me build confidence in myself. My coaches have taught me a sense of accountability for my actions by refusing to accept anything but my best.”
Madison is also active on campus as a member of the Bathtub Ring, Meredith’s a capella singing group, and a student tour guide for the Admissions office.
“I have always loved to sing – being able to do so in a way that represents one of Meredith’s treasured traditions has meant so much to me,” said Madison. “I love meeting new people and being able to share my love of Meredith with prospective students and their families.
Through StrongPoints®, Madison has benefited from learning about her strengths and how to use that knowledge to be more resilient when she encounters challenges. Understanding her strengths has also helped her learn to more effectively manage multiple responsibilities, including relying on others instead of always trying to manage everything herself.
“Learning my top five strengths was an incredible experience. I loved being able to learn more about myself, and the results have helped me to better tackle problems or projects I have encountered in my life since then,” she said. “What makes me strong is being honest with myself and recognizing my own strengths and weaknesses so I can see where I may benefit from the strengths of others.”
Madison has been challenged academically at Meredith, particularly through her involvement with the honors program and undergraduate research. She presented her research on “Expanding the Moral Community – Plants and Animals” at both Celebrating Student Achievement Day on campus and at a pop culture conference in Washington, D.C.
“I am pushed by all of my professors, coaches, and mentors to take on more responsibility, grow in my leadership skills, and try new experiences,” she said.
Early on at Meredith she found a mentor in Brent Pitts, professor of world languages and cultures and former director of the honors program.
“As a freshman, Dr. Pitts pushed me to interview for the Honors Committee, and later supported me as I took on the role as Student Chair. He has been a source of unwavering encouragement, belief, and positivity with his guidance in any matter I bring to him.”
Now a senior, Madison can reflect on the unique value of attending a women’s college, and the impact it has had on her confidence and personal growth.
“You hear about Meredith being a sisterhood, but you have no idea how true that is until you become a part of it. I know that I have classmates, professors, coaches, and teammates who care about me, and are there for me whenever I need them.”