Skip to main content

The Aspire Program

The Aspire Conference

Thursday, Sept. 26-Friday, Sept. 27, 2019
Carthage College Campus

Explore, network, and ignite crucial career- and life-building skills at the next annual campus-wide conference in Fall of 2020.

• • •

The Aspire Conference is a zero-cost, high-benefit experience for Carthage students, faculty, and staff. Whether you have 5 minutes or 2 hours, you can participate in activities and sessions built with your schedule in mind. There will be more than 80 individual events and more than 20 presentations. 

Hear from some of Carthage’s most notable alumni:

Bill Blagg '02

Bill Blagg ’02

Keynote Speaker

Tessa Rundle '16 is a Portable Life Support System Development Engineer at NASA.

Tessa Rundle ’16

Space suit engineer

Isaac Rothenbaum '11

Isaac Rothenbaum ’11

Software Developer,
Forbes 30 Under 30

Matt Thome '17

Matt Thome ’17

Account Manager,
Sacramento Kings

Marie Tredway '17

Marie Tredway ’17

Director, Actor,

Christina Laur-Nuernberger '07Christina
Laur-Nuernberger ’09

Speech pathologist

Conference Registration is Closed until the Fall of 2020

The Aspire Conference is free for Carthage students, faculty, and staff.
Pre-registration for the conference is preferred, though you can register on the day of the conference.
Pre-registration for the conference lunch is required.

When registration is open, you can find a registration link here.


Conference Schedule Overview

Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019

6:30 p.m.

Registration, Networking & Hors D’Oeuvres
Kick-off The Aspire Conference with great conversation and food, such as Mac ‘n Cheese wedges, artichoke dip, fresh fruit, cheese tray, veggie tray, meatballs, chicken nuggets, tortilla chips & guacamole. Pick up your conference materials and schedule!
Todd Wehr Center, Jockey Club Rooms

7:30 p.m.

Opening Keynote: Magician Bill Blagg ’02
Todd Wehr Center, Jockey Club Rooms
The magic behind career-building is revealed at Carthage’s first campus-wide conference. Magician and Carthage alumnus Bill Blagg ’02 will use magic and storytelling to illustrate how Carthage fueled his rise to popularity as a magician. Read more about Bill Blagg

8:45 p.m.

Carthage Creative Space
Campbell Student Union
Looking for a chance to unwind, laugh, and engage within a casual environment? Maybe to have some free food with our Totcho Bar (tater-tot bar!) and decorate-your-own cookies and cupcakes? Well, we also have giant interactive games, such as giant Scrabble, Kerplunk, Light Brite, and Legos! Join us in the Campbell Student Union for a night of interactive games, collaborative problem-solving and creativity!

Friday, Sept. 27, 2019


Fireside Chats
Campbell Student Union
Grab a cup of coffee with accomplished alumni at the Campbell Student Union fireplace for down-to-earth conversations about each other’s experiences, dreams, and goals. Fireside Chats will run throughout the day on Friday.
See Fireside Chat schedule


Activity Hubs
TWC Lobby, Donna’s Bytes (Einstein’s), Clausen Center Atrium, Lentz Hall Lobby
From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., engage with and learn from industry experts, alumni, and your peers in a hands-on and fast-paced drop-in environment.
See Activity Hub schedule

8:15-10:45 a.m.

Registration, Grab & Go Breakfast
Todd Wehr Center Lobby
Grab a conference schedule, get registered, and grab a pancake on a stick with some juice or coffee on your way to class and/or the conference.

8:45-10:45 a.m.

Grab & Go Breakfast
Campus Drive
Already registered for the conference, or want more information? Stop by Kissing Rock and grab free snacks like granola bars and fruit

9:15-11:35 A.M.

Education Blocks 1 & 2
Various locations
Dive into deeper learning by participating in panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and engaging presentations facilitated by alumni, faculty, and staff. Education Blocks are tailored to the academic class schedule and are located throughout campus.
Education Block 1: 9:15-10:20 a.m.
Education Block 2: 10:30-11:35 a.m.


Living Your Aspire Story: Alumni Panel & Lunch*
Todd Wehr Center Jockey Club Rooms
Facilitated by Pastor Kara Baylor, hear from some of our notable alumni on how their student experiences at Carthage — and the realities they faced — led them to live “the Aspire Story.” Key elements of the Panel Discussion will include how the development of creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, and career development were essential in navigating new opportunities. Registration required by Tuesday, Sept. 17.
* Pre-registration required: Register now!

11:45 a.m.-1:25 p.m.

Drop-In Dessert & Advice from Alumni
Various locations
Enjoy a sweet treat of various flavors of Rice Krispie Treats and chat with Nathan Giebel ’12, Matt Thome ’17, and Marie Tredway ’17 in the Clausen Center Atrium about how they’ve applied Aspire’s 4 Key Elements (Career Development, Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Leadership) into their personal and professional lives. This is a space to share your ideas, thoughts, and questions with some of our most notable alumni.
See Drop-in Dessert schedule

1:30-3:55 p.m.

Education Blocks Continue
Various locations
Dive into deeper learning by participating in panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and engaging presentations facilitated by alumni, faculty, and staff. Education Blocks are tailored to the academic class schedule and are located throughout campus.
Education Block 3: 1:35-2:40 p.m.
Education Block 4: 2:50-3:55 p.m.

4:15 p.m.

Next Steps: From Aspiration to Action
Todd Wehr Center Jockey Club Rooms
Join us for an afternoon celebration with a free Trail Mix Bar served with mock-tails at this culminating networking event of The Aspire Conference. Did a conference topic spark an idea? Did the alumni you met inspire you to explore a career field you hadn’t considered before? Are you more confident to join an organization and network with peers? Now that you’ve experienced the conference, we’ll work together to launch your aspirations into realities.

Make your commitment to how you’ll move toward your aspirations.

Questions about The Aspire Conference? Please contact or call 262-551-5959.