Dedicated to English and dance at Carthage, senior Stephanie van Wieringen keeps herself busy on campus with papers, thought-provoking classes, performances, and choreography. Pushing herself academically and physically, Stephanie studies to become a professor specializing in Shakespeare while also serving as president of the National Dance Education Organization and captain of the Red Hots Dance Team.
Sad to leave after graduation, Stephanie encourages new students to “stick to your gut” and thanks Carthage for all of the opportunities she has received “that started the minute I set foot on campus my freshman year.”
“I have had so many professors who have impacted me. Professor Annette Duncan and Professor Shannon Brennan are two English professors that have reminded me why I love English even when it gets stressful. Stacy Pottinger, Joey Hernandez, and Courtney Petrocci keep my love for dance alive with every class.”
“My favorite class would have to be Humor and Satire in Composition with Professor David Gartner. It was a J-Term class where we just wrote about the funny things we did. We got to play hide and seek in the David A. Straz, Jr. Center and we even had a bizarre food eating contest. It was the most fun I think I’ve ever had in class.’
“My toughest class would have to have been Lit in Its time II: The Gay 90’s with Professor Shannon Brennan. It was so interesting, but I knew next to nothing about the 1890s (yes I thought it would be the 1990s, too …) and it was tough to learn history as well as literary styles all at once.”
“I’ve worked the past three years at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a summer temp. I help plan our big 150-mile bike ride that raises over 1 million dollars every year. My family has been a part of the ride since before I was born and it has a very special place in my heart since my cousin died from Leukemia when she was only 3 years old.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“I have had so many opportunities while at Carthage. I have had the privilege of being a part of every single dance show that has been put on since my freshman year. I have been able to dance and choreograph which is such an amazing experience. I’ve also joined our Red Hots Dance Team and was elected one of the captains after only being on the team for a year prior.”
“I am heavily involved in our Dance Minor shows and will continue to be during my senior year. I am now the president of NDEO (National Dance Education Organization) for this upcoming year. I also am a captain of our Carthage Red Hots Dance Team and am a lifetime member of Alpha Chi Omega. I have also been an Orientation Leader since my sophomore year.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“Spending time with my friends would probably make up my favorite moments. Having such a tight-knit community on campus really helps you find your lifelong friends and it’s so nice that it’s so easy to see them.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“The biggest surprise for me is how sad I’m starting to feel now that I’m going into my final year. I thought it’d be easier to think about leaving this place behind, but it’s going to be really tough. I could talk about how much I love Carthage all day!”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“I think my 8-year-old self would be proud of me. She’d definitely be ecstatic that I have finally become a pointe dancer and that I still dance every single day!”
Advice for other students considering your major
“I think for both my major and my minor, there is a lot of judgment that gets passed about them being ‘too easy.’ I can tell you from experience that they are not. They challenge me every day and teach me things that I’ve never known before. All of my professors have been amazing and I have grown so much since I started college.”
“I would also say to stick to your gut. I changed my major kind of late because I was worried about everyone else when, in reality, the only one that matters is yourself. If you’re not happy, it’s not worth it. Do what you know you’ll love.”