Student Stories: Madeleine Trinco

Student Stories: Madeleine Trinco


Major: Associate in Arts/Associate in Science

Madeleine Trinco graduated early from high school and wanted a head-start on her college career.

She chose College of DuPage after being named a Presidential Scholar, which includes a full-tuition scholarship and membership in the Phi Theta Kappa honors society.

“The Presidential Scholarship helped me save for my transfer school and motivated me to keep my GPA up,” she said. “I had to take honors classes, and that alone pushed me to be a better student. I learned how to manage my time efficiently and I got to know myself as a student better.

“I also chose COD because I was the president of a statewide service organization called the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. This required me to travel frequently around the state, and COD allowed me to pursue my future goals while also completing my obligations as president.”  

Two subjects Trinco dove into at COD were history and anthropology. 

“I have always loved history ever since grade school and want to learn as much as I can about our past so we can improve our future,” she said. “I was actually introduced to anthropology my second semester when I took Intro to Anthropology and my professor, Dr. Michael Dietz, really engaged me in class.”

After earning both Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees and graduating with high honors, Trinco continued her educationat Beloit College in Wisconsin, where she was a member of the women’s lacrosse team; treasurer of her sorority, Theta Pi Gamma; and president of the Mortar Board chapter on campus. She also spent one summer as an intern at TEKsystems in a recruiting/sales role. 

Having graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in political science, she is now the division assistant at the DuPage County Coroner’s Office, where she helps people who have lost loved ones. 

“This line of work is difficult but so rewarding. It really combines my knowledge of forensics and politics. Without COD, I wouldn’t have that background,” she said. 

Trinco is determining how to shape her future and is looking at several options, including a master’s program for public administration as well as becoming a licensed funeral director. She encourages anyone considering COD to enroll and try new things. 

“In addition to being cost effective, College of DuPage has amazing professors,” she said. “You should also join clubs and try honors classes because they’re worth it. Join Phi Theta Kappa if you are given the opportunity. And always apply for scholarships.  

“Don’t treat COD as if it were high school part two. It’s a college and you have to push yourself to get the grades.”