Madison Payne

Madison Payne

Class Year



Mount Prospect, Ill.


History and Special Education


Secondary Education

Madison Payne ’26 has found a home within the Carthage community. She’s formed connections with her professors, gained friendships as a member of the track and field team, and learned a lot about Kenosha’s education system as a worker for Carthage’s Urban Teacher Preparation Program. She hopes to teach and coach somewhere in the local Kenosha area or in her hometown, where she can be a positive attribute to the lives of students.

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“Having positive relationships with the faculty here has helped me to create more opportunities for myself at Carthage, and it’s great knowing that I can reach out to any past or present professors if I need help.”

Madison Payne, ’26

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because the education program really stuck out to me. I also was very fortunate to be able to continue my track and field career here, which was another big draw.”

Faculty mentors

“All of the faculty I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with have been great. From my Intellectual Foundation’s teacher to the coaching staff, every Carthage faculty member has allowed me to feel wanted and cared for.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage so far has to be a tie between Modern Caribbean: From Pirates to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Intellectual Foundations. Both classes had great lectures and plenty of discussion time, which made the classes fly by. In Pirates, I remember going back to do the readings and being shocked by how little knowledge I came in with, which made me look forward to each day of the lecture. And as for Intellectual Foundations, I had a professor who never failed to facilitate great conversation.’”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I’ve had so far is Elementary Statistics. The class itself isn’t too difficult, but math and I have never been friends. My general disinterest in numbers makes the class harder for me, but that’s not to say it’s a bad class.”

Campus involvement

“Aside from classes and work, track and field take up a good portion of my time. I am lucky to have a great team and an even better coach who helps me to develop as a person and athlete each day. Competing this season was super fun, and I’m beyond grateful that I get to continue for another three years.

“I am also a member of the Pi Theta sorority and have really found a home there. We’re a community of great women who come from all sorts of backgrounds and experiences, and I’m happy to say I’m a part of this great organization.”

Golden opportunities

“Next year I get to participate in being an orientation leader, peer coach, and a SMARTER mentor, and I’m excited to meet and help the incoming freshman.”

Internships or campus employment

“I’ve been lucky enough to work in the Urban Teacher Preparation Program office here on campus. Professor Siovahn Williams and Mrs. Brumund-Smith are great employers, and I feel like I’ve gotten to learn so much about how local education works in Kenosha. We’ve put on a few different events this year, such as Teacher Appreciation and the Urban Education Summit. Still, even on a smaller scale, I’ve gotten to meet the students the schools we work so closely with through their tour dates and have gotten to play trivia and connect with them.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is between the third-floor lounge of Tarble and the field by the Kissing Rock. The lounge has so many memories for me and my friends, but it’s always nice to get outside and appreciate the lake we have on campus.”

Favorite memory

“Some of my favorite memories at Carthage have been spending loads of time with my friends in our floor lounge doing everything from homework to set up for movie and game nights.”

Biggest surprise

“The biggest surprise about living in Kenosha and going to Carthage is that Wisconsin has grown on me. Everyone here is super welcoming, and there’s never a dull moment, even at such a small school.”

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

“When I was 8 years old, I thought I was going to be a pro basketball player, and judging by the fact that I got cut from JV, I think it’s safe to say 8-year-old me would be shocked. When I was a kid, I was always convinced I would never want to teach, but once I stepped into a classroom, it felt right, so I think my younger self would be proud.”