Skip to main content

Biology

Student Voices

  • Racquel Sohasky '16
    Racquel Sohasky '16

Racquel Sohasky ’16

Hometown

Sylvania, Ohio

Major(s)

Biology

Minor(s)

Spanish

Favorite spot on campus

“I love the Science Center! It is a great place to learn, study, and hang out. I go there all the time during the week and weekends to study and meet up with other students. The new laboratories and equipment are nice features science majors can now take advantage of.”

During a J-Term study tour to Nicaragua, Racquel Sohasky says her “eyes were opened” and was influenced to pursue a career in global health. 

“A biology major is taken seriously at Carthage, and it provides many opportunities to grow as a student and servant to the world around you. Finishing the major is worthwhile because of the wide variety of directions you can go with it, but you have to have your heart in it,” she said. 

After graduating from Carthage, Racquel plans to teach in Guatemala for six months and then attend medical school.

“Carthage is an excellent school, but like all others, it is only as great as what you put into it. Exploring the opportunities available and taking advantage of having caring and committed professors can make all the difference in enjoying your time at Carthage.”

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage I plan to teach in Guatemala for six months and then attend medical school. My career goal is to become an anesthesiologist, although I am open to other medical specialties.”

Favorite professor

“I have had several incredible professors at Carthage; they are what make the school an exceptional institution.

Prof. Patrick Pfaffle was one of the first professors I met when I began my undergraduate career at Carthage. He became my adviser sophomore year and has been encouraging since the very beginning. Prof. Pfaffle is compassionate and truly cares about the wellbeing of his students. I have taken multiple classes of his, including the trip to Nicaragua. He is passionate about what he does as a professor and especially about the work being accomplished abroad. Prof. Pfaffle has made sure to keep up with my current progress toward medical school and always stops to talk in the hallway. He is one of the professors who inspired me to make global health a part of my career.

“Another professor who has played a large part in my undergraduate career is Prof. David Brownholland. Prof. Brownholland helped to start a Pre-Health Committee at Carthage and became the chair of the committee once it was founded. He helped me understand what applying for, and attending medical school entails. Prof. Brownholland is a very encouraging professor who is always eager to help in any way possible.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage so far was the Nicaragua J-Term study tour. It gave me the opportunity to learn about the culture and lifestyle of another country. This class was much more than a course for credits. It was an eye-opening experience that influenced my decision to pursue a career in global health.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage has been Biostatistics and Experimental Design (BIO 4100). The class was much different from anything I had ever taken before. It was necessary to put in large amounts of time for this course because it was preparation for the biology thesis. Writing a research proposal is a difficult task unlike anything most of the students had done previously.”

Internships

“Prior to my junior year of college I had an internship at the University of Michigan Health System in the NeuroMuscular Laboratory. I conducted research which aimed toward advancing upper limb neuroprostheses. Most of my work included the analysis of histological data. The following summer I worked in the Perioperative Clinical Research Institute at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I tested a new hemodynamic monitor in the operating room and post-anesthesia care unit.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“During J-Term of my junior year at Carthage, I traveled to Nicaragua. I worked in four different clinics on Ometepe Island and learned about the lifestyle of another country. Next J-Term I will be traveling to Guatemala on a Spanish language immersion trip.”

Scholarships

“I received the Carthage Highest Honors Scholarship for my grades in high school, which was part of the reason I decided to enroll at Carthage. I also received the Blake R. and Marie E. Children Scholarship at the end of my junior year at Carthage. This scholarship is offered to students with a focus in nursing, medical technology, or medicine. I was grateful for the recognition I received from the Biology Department for my work in the sciences. This award was encouraging as I prepared to take the next step in my career by attending medical school.”

Campus involvement

“I belong to a few organizations at Carthage including Pre-Health Club and Beta Beta Beta which are geared toward students who plan to pursue careers in the health and biological sciences. Pre-Health Club offers opportunities for students to explore various health related careers and connect with other students with similar career paths. I have enjoyed the opportunities to meet other students and learn about medicine through this organization at Carthage. Beta Beta Beta is the Honors Biology fraternity, of which I recently became a member and the secretary. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet other students who have also worked hard in the biological sciences.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“During my sophomore year I played on the women’s volleyball team. I enjoyed playing the sport I loved surrounded by my wonderful teammates. We went on to win the conference championship that year. The support we received from the school as students, faculty, and community members who filled the gym to watch our conference and regional matches was incredible.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“My biggest surprise has been all of the things students can be involved in at a small school. There are opportunities to pursue most interests. One of my favorite groups on campus is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a Christian worship group. It is a wonderful crowd of students who share a passion for The Lord and are able to share that with others through large and small groups within a single club.”

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

“My 8-year-old self did not know I wanted to be a physician. However, I think I would have been excited to see myself working toward an exciting goal. I would have been scared for all the work to come, but comforted by the support I would receive along the way.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“I would tell other students they needed to take biology, or any major they choose, purposefully. You can pursue any degree you want and achieve your goals if you remain focused. A biology major is taken seriously at Carthage, and it provides many opportunities to grow as a student and servant to the world around you. Finishing the major is worthwhile because of the wide variety of directions you can go with it, but you have to have your heart in it.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • Beyond the campus boundaries, dinosaur fossils are prepared at the Carthage Institute of Paleontolgoy in Kenosha. A lengthy pterodactyl flight away, Finca Esperanza serves as a base camp for J-Term medical and water quality missions to Nicaragua. 

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

    Previous
    Next