Stories of Impact
Christine Hobbs ’71
Christine Hobbs, first in her family to attend a four-year college, graduated from Carthage in 1971. During her years at Carthage, Mrs. Hobbs overcame many unforeseen challenges before graduating and pursuing a career as a K-6 art teacher in the Kenosha Unified School District.
While she was in college, her mother Jean decided to join her in her pursuit of higher education and began taking evening classes at Carthage. Years later, Mrs. Hobbs’ son would attend Carthage and graduate with a major in computer science.
In 2016, Mrs. Hobbs joined the Carthage Board of Trustees, and currently serves on the 150 Years of Carthage Women celebration committee.
“Recognizing remarkable women faculty on the Illinois campus” — an essay by Ann W. Bundgaard
In an era when men controlled faculty, administration, boards of trustees, and Lutheran synods, three women faculty members, collectively, gave 115 years of service to Carthage College. Although their years of teaching did not completely overlap, they together constituted a strong female core among the male-dominated faculty from 1927 to 1952. Moreover, these women taught in disciplines often considered male strongholds — foreign languages, biology, and English.
Although each of the three women profiled had unique, individual talents, they all possessed some traits in common. They were born between 1879 and 1900. Thus, they grew up in the era when women were lobbying for the right to vote. All three women remained single throughout their lives. They each brought to Carthage several years of public school teaching experience in their home states. Finally, all three women demonstrated determination to succeed in their careers, as well as loyalty to the College and dedication to their students. Here are brief portraits of these remarkable Carthage women.
Shirley Diskerud ’59
Shirley Diskerud is a two-time graduate of Carthage College. She first completed her undergraduate degree on the Illinois campus in 1959, and then her Masters in Education in 1979. For more than 30 years, Mrs. Diskerud taught at Washington Junior High School in Kenosha.
During her freshman year at Carthage, Mrs. Diskerud met her husband, Clayton Diskerud, who would go on to spend 36 years as a member of the Carthage faculty. Throughout those years as a faculty member, his students and colleagues would become like family to the Diskeruds. Mr. and Mrs. Diskerud recently celebrated their 60th year of marriage.
Mrs. Diskerud is, indeed, Carthage family, and we hope our ongoing commitment to the values she holds dear have been worthy of her praise. We are grateful for her lifelong affection and support of this great institution.
Carol Nailor ’75
150 Years of Carthage Women volunteer, Carol Nailor ’75, is excited about the opportunity that this celebration provides to “pay-it-forward” and strengthen Carthage for future generations of women. In her own words, she shares more about how her time at Carthage helped shape the person she is today.
Ms. Nailor lettered three times in volleyball (1972-74), four times in basketball (1971-75), and four times in softball (1972-75). Her 1973, 1974, and 1975 softball teams went a combined 27-0 over three seasons. In 1985, Ms. Nailor was inducted into the Carthage Hall of Fame.
Upon graduation from Carthage, Ms. Nailor taught physical education for 36 years at Randall School in Burlington, Wis. She also served as the athletic director and coached basketball, softball, track and field, and volleyball at various times during her career.
Ms. Nailor retired from the public school system 2011, and from 2012-2016 she taught exercise and sport science at Carthage. She holds a master’s degree in sports management from the United States Sport Academy.
In the formative years, Lady Reds athletics was essentially a one-woman show. Diane Mizerka coached at Carthage from 1968 to 1980, juggling nine different sports in the early days of the women’s athletic program.
Although she eventually pared that list to three — volleyball, basketball, and softball — coaching was far from her only task. Ms. Mizerka also scheduled games and officiating crews, provided supplemental meal money, even washed the makeshift uniforms.
Players appreciated the lengths their coach went for them. Though she’s forgotten which sport prompted the trip, Jan Thieme ’73 still chuckles while relaying the story of an eight-hour drive to Superior, Wisconsin, where the team ran into a blizzard that had already forced the cancellation of the event.
Rather than chalk it up to bad luck, Ms. Mizerka scrambled and found an opponent the team could play on the way back. “She knew her stuff, yet she cared about you as a person. It was all a learning experience,” says Ms. Thieme. “A lot of us went on to coach after that, and we took that with us.”
After a three-year stint as the College’s first (and only) director of women’s athletics, she retired in 1985 and promptly entered the Athletic Hall of Fame. Ms. Mizerka now lives in suburban Chicago.
Veronica Hunter Moore ’05
“Some of my favorite Carthage memories include being a member of the Women’s Track and Field Team, late-night capture-the-flag tournaments, touring Europe with the Gospel Messengers, and being crowned Carthage Homecoming Queen,” Ms. Moore says.
“Carthage provided me with an opportunity to expand my world view. I was an inner city girl who only knew about life around her. Coming to Carthage exposed me to different cultures and opportunities. It forced me to think critically about my own individual identity and how I viewed the world.”
Prof. Irene Kraemer
“We don’t do ‘no’ here.” That was Irène Kraemer’s directive to her staff as dean of the School of Professional Studies.
The woman who once told a Kenosha News columnist that “life is too short to give up anything” empathized with adult students who balanced school, family, and career.
Prof. Alice Kibbe
Preeminent in botany and endearingly eccentric, Professor Alice Kibbe headed the Biology Department from 1920 to 1956 on the Carthage, Illinois, campus and then continued as curator of the College’s museum until the transition to Kenosha was completed in 1964.
Prof. Charlotte Chell
When she launched the precursor to today’s Carthage computer science program in 1984, Professor Charlotte Chell’s computer skills were largely self-taught. That was enough to build on.