Josh Goodall-Spring 2017 Spotlight on Alumni Success

Joshua Goodall graduated in 2016 from the University of Rio Grande with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. He attended Jackson High School.

What made you choose Rio?  My dad had studied history and education at Rio and is one of the most historically knowledgeable people I know. In fact, everyone I have met who attended Rio Grande were very knowledgeable in their respective fields. Between that and it being close to home, it was a great choice. 

What was your best professional experience at Rio?  I always enjoyed the Rise Research Event. I also had the chance to attend and present at the Regional Phi Alpha Theta conference thanks to Rio.

What was your favorite course at Rio…and why? American Cultures I with Dr. Beekman. The class sparked my interest in early America and got me into the habit of thinking critically and broadly about the past.

What do you miss most about Rio? I miss the people. The faculty, staff, and students of Rio create such a great environment for learning in whatever field you are in. 

What advice would you give current students at Rio? Don’t allow yourself to think that you can’t do great things just because you come from a small school. Your character is built more on your work than it is the name or size of your institution.

What do you do now? I am a teaching assistant and first-year American History graduate student at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

What was your first “big break”? Being inducted into Phi Alpha Theta History Honors Society. Being given the offer to join boosted my confidence in my own ability. My membership also allowed for me to make contacts, present research at academic conferences, and to gain experience in varying leadership positions. Because of Rio and Phi Alpha Theta, I wrote my first research paper on The Starving Time in Colonial Jamestown which I also used as my essay example in graduate school applications. 

What are some of your greatest or most recent professional achievements? This past semester I worked on several different topics for my classes. I wrote some research papers, book reviews, and started formulating my interests in research topics and theories. Being able to do this while also receiving good grades and enjoying a successful try at teaching was a big personal professional achievement for me.

What kinds of art, music, writing, research or academic work are you doing now?I am just doing the normal graduate school assignments but I am beginning to formulate my Masters Thesis topic. Currently, I am considering researching the impact frontier societies and uprisings had on the growing American identity leading up to the American Revolution.  That is subject to change though.

What’s next in your career? I would like to finish my Masters degree and then go on to get my Doctorate in and teach American History at another institution. I would also like to publish a book at some point.

If you couldn’t have your current career, what would you do for a living? Two of my passions outside of history are food and traveling so I would probably do something like own and operate a food truck and travel the country with it.

If you could spend the day with any fine artist, living or dead, who would it be?  Leonardo Da Vinci, because of the wide array of works and inventions he had. 

What is your favorite book:  The Frontiersmen by Allan W. Eckert.

Favorite artist:  Ansel Adams.

Favorite musician:  Johnny Cash.

Favorite movie: The original 1969 version of True Grit with John Wayne and Glen Campbell.

Favorite food: Sushi.

Favorite quote: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.”- Henry David Thoreau

If you could move anywhere, where would you go?  Probably somewhere in Colorado so I would be close to both deserts and the Rocky Mountains.

What’s the one thing that most people don’t know about you? I am an extreme night owl and do most of my work late at night. I don’t need a lot of sleep and have a pretty big coffee addiction.