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Meet Our Newest Alumni

Six graduates. Six new starts. Some of Carthage’s newest alumni share their plans for the future.

James Blakeway '13

James Blakeway

Majors: Finance, Economics
Hometown: Oxford, England

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
The experience that has had the most impact on me at Carthage has been the interaction with the professors, primarily Joe Wall. He has been an amazing professor, advisor, and friend.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be working in Tastytrade’s research department, researching option trading strategies and writing pieces for the presenters featured on the financial network’s shows.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for your future plans?
My time at Carthage has prepared me by not only giving me the academic knowledge I need, but also practical, real-world experiences in the classroom.

What will you miss about Carthage?
I will miss the friends I have made and the overall great atmosphere that Carthage has offered.


Ashley Easterwood '13

Ashley Easterwood

Major: Elementary Education/Cross- Categorical Special Education
Hometown: Wilmot, Wis.

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
The overall experience of accomplishing my goals has been a joy. Along the way, I enjoyed the rewarding feeling of understanding how each thing I learned will benefit me in my future. I spent a lot of time utilizing the resources available to me on campus, such as the Hedberg Library and the Writing Center. There is nothing that I would redo or change about any of my experiences at Carthage!

What are your plans after graduation?
I was hired by the Burlington (Wis.) School District to work as a special education teacher at Burlington High School. I will begin my career in the fall. For the summer, I was hired to work in the special education departments at Wilmot Union High School and Wheatland Center School.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for your future plans?
The small class sizes, courses I have taken, and knowledgeable professors have prepared me for my career as an educator. In the environment at Carthage, I was engaged, focused, and rewarded. I hope to continue my education and earn a Master of Education.

What will you miss about Carthage?
I will miss students and staff I met while attending Carthage. I loved that the professors of the night classes I attended were or are still teachers and principals themselves. It is an advantage to learn from someone doing the job right now. It is nice to have a real discussion with someone who is actually working in the field you want to be in.


Steve Mathe '13

Steven Mathe

Major: Chemistry
Hometown: Wauconda, Ill.

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
All of the highest impact experiences I have had at Carthage have all been related to research opportunities. In my four years at Carthage, I have worked on a SURE project in chemistry with Dr. Walter Smith, worked for three semesters on a chemistry project for class credit with Dr. Timothy Eckert, worked for three years on Carthage’s Microgravity Team with Dr. Kevin Crosby, and helped bring a suborbital rocket payload team to Carthage.

Through these experiences, I have learned very well the frustrations that can come with research, and the value of hard work and discipline in overcoming those frustrations. These research projects have given me invaluable experience working with a variety of computer programs and instrumentation. On top of all of that, through the space sciences projects, I have flown in zero-g, launched an experiment into space, and enjoyed unbelievable access at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, including the opportunity to see the final space shuttle launch from space center property.

What are your plans after graduation?
In the fall, I will attend the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, pursuing a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering with an emphasis in explosives engineering. My career goal is to work in the aerospace field on rocket fuels or pyrotechnics. My dream is to fly in space as an astronaut.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for those plans?
The biggest thing that Carthage has done to prepare me for my future was to give me multiple experiences with research. The experiences taught me the value of hard work and focus when dealing with the challenges of research. These experiences had a significant influence on the direction I wanted to go. Specifically, my experiences with NASA through the Microgravity Team reignited my passion for everything to do with spaceflight.

What will you miss about Carthage?
Most of all, I am going to miss the people at Carthage, both my professors and my classmates. Both groups contribute to the atmosphere of Carthage, helping to make Carthage the incredible experience that it is. I will also miss the lake view, as next year I will be in a desert.


Kaylee Annabel '13 Kaylee Annable

Majors: Music Theatre, Theatre
Hometown: Chesterton, Ind.

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
One of the most influential experiences I had was my senior thesis in theatre. I did a performance thesis on my role in “Boeing Boeing” (Gabriella). Something about that role and all of the extra work I did for my thesis really clicked. My acting really skyrocketed during that performance, and from then on. I received an Irene Ryan acting award nomination for that role, which is a huge honor. From that Irene Ryan, I moved onto the semifinal round by performing a music theatre duet. These experiences gave me better confidence and furthered my acting ability in a way I couldn’t have imagined.

What are your plans after graduation?
At Fox Valley Repertory, I will be understudying for two roles (Millie and DeeDee) in their production of “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” This means I have to learn all lines, blocking and choreography for both roles. I have to be at every rehearsal, all preview performances and one performance a week once the show opens. I am also on call in case I need to perform as the role that night.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for your future plans?
My time at Carthage has been very precious. Looking back, I know that I have grown an incredible amount as a vocalist, dancer, and an actress. Everything I do here has helped me prepare for my future as a performer. I have taken voice lessons and acting classes with incredible teachers, had the experience to learn through productions in both workshop and on the main stage, and of course my music classes and choir have helped me to become a better musician. I have been challenged and encouraged throughout my entire time here and I have tried to take advantage of every opportunity. I can honestly say that I have learned something from every experience I have been given. I cannot ever be grateful enough.

What will you miss about Carthage?
Everything. I will miss the beautiful campus, the sense of security and community I feel, the amazing support from my peers, and the opportunities to grow and perform. I will miss waking up every day to this second home that provides me with challenge, support, and fun. Most of all I will miss my inspiring teachers and my amazing friends. I love the second family I have acquired here and I will forever cherish them — no matter how far apart we are.


Laura Taylor '13

Laura Taylor

Majors:Neuroscience, Biology
Hometown: San Diego

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
I would say that participation in the SURE program for the summer of 2011 was a stepping point for getting me into the research field. Without that opportunity, I would not have been as competitive of a candidate for the two internships I received the following summer. Plus, that’s how I got to know Dr. Janice Pellino, who was and still is my research mentor. She has been a great person to talk with about things like grad school, getting through tough courses, and life in general.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will be working toward a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology at the University of Washington in Seattle.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for your future plans?
Carthage has given me so many opportunities to develop both as a scientist and as an individual. I have been participating in various research opportunities for over three years, and have had plenty of chances to practice my presentation skills whether it be on campus for Celebration of Scholars, regionally for the Midstates Consortium, or nationally for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research. Additionally, having a liberal arts education has enabled me to think creatively in all aspects of my education. I have been able to participate in numerous clubs and organizations to hone in on my leadership skills, as well as give back to the community. Overall, Carthage has helped me to become a more well-rounded individual.

What will you miss about Carthage?
First and foremost, I will miss the people. From the group of friends that I first met in the dorms, all the way to the faculty and staff that I have gotten to know, there are so many wonderful people here. I cannot emphasize enough how awesome it has been to create personal relationships with my professors and peers. I have received great advice and created some irreplaceable memories. People here truly do enable you to reach your goals.


Nick Tackes '13

Nick Tackes

Majors:Great Ideas, Religion
Hometown: Rockford, Ill.

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
Believe it or not, reading horoscopes in Hindi three times a week with Professor James Lochtefeld for the past two years has had one of the most tremendous impacts on me. The idea that a professor would work one-on-one with me to teach a language not formally offered at Carthage is incredible enough, but that the experience led me to India for a J-Term trip, inspired me to apply and receive a Fulbright award, and developed a friendship with Prof. Lochtefeld is beyond my wildest dreams. I feel really blessed to have had numerous experiences like that.

What are your plans after graduation?
I will travel to India on a Fulbright-Nehru English Teaching Assistantship.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for your future plans?
My experiences at Carthage in and out of the classroom have been an immense aid in developing my person. As I come out of my four years at Carthage, I feel confident in my communication skills, my critical thinking skills, and also my ability to adapt to new and potentially challenging surroundings with a positive and determined attitude. If I had to name a few experiences in particular, I would highlight my J-Term in India, my summer in China, my time as an assistant hall director, and my time as a writing tutor in the Writing Center.

What will you miss about Carthage?
Leaving Carthage will be hard for a few reasons. I will definitely miss the friends I’ve made along the way, as well as the faculty, who I can safely say rank among those friends. (Keeping in contact will be a struggle from India, but I’ll try.) I will miss doing Tai Chi in front of the lake, especially during those beautiful sunrises. I guess I’ll miss the whole place, especially that energetic, forward-looking atmosphere which seems to be everywhere at Carthage.


Rachael Kimmerling '13

Rachael Kimmerling

Majors:Great Ideas, Political Science, French
Hometown: Normal, Ill.

What experience at Carthage had the biggest impact on you?
If I had to choose only one experience, I would have to say the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience project that I was able to do the summer before my senior year. Being able to design my own research project and work side by side with a faculty member was a truly rewarding experience that eventually turned into a paper that I was able to present at the Northeast Political Science Association conference and set the foundation for two of my honors theses. The SURE program fostered great personal growth that I feel has prepared me for the next stage in my academic career.

What are your plans after graduation?
In fall, I will begin pursuing a Ph.D. in political science with an emphasis in political theory at the University of Toronto.

How has your time at Carthage prepared you for your future plans?
As I mentioned above, the SURE program helped me to get a sense of myself as an academic and to understand the directions in which I want to go with my own research. In addition to the SURE program, the rigorous coursework I experienced throughout my undergraduate career, as well as the overwhelming support and guidance I have received from my professors, has me feeling prepared and confident about my future.

What will you miss about Carthage?
There is something very special about being an undergraduate student. I will miss the carefree afternoons lying in the grass and looking out at the lake while I finish my reading for class, and the caffeine-fueled all-nighters in the Student Union as I promise myself I will never, ever, ever procrastinate like this again. I will miss being able to go to the Caf at noon (once I have finally made it out of bed) and still be able to get breakfast. I will miss the freedom of the liberal arts education to take classes outside of my discipline, to learn about something completely foreign to me. I will miss the friends I have made here, and the professors who have nurtured my mind and led me to such success.

  • 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.

    • 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 …

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