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Rookies of the Year

6 students who made their mark their first year here

As we anticipate welcoming the Class of 2025, let’s celebrate the impact of our newest Carthaginians. Meet six freshmen who are definitely ready for year two.

Lizbeth Jaquez '24Lizbeth Jaquez ’24

Major: Criminal Justice
Minors: Psychology
Hometown: Waukegan, Ill.

Why did you choose to come to Carthage?
“Carthage’s small class sizes and academic support programs convinced me that it was an environment where I would be able to enhance my strengths and improve my weaknesses. I also received the William L. Niemann Scholarship which granted me great financial support. Lastly, the amazing view of the lake sealed the deal!”

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your first year, and why? 
“I am most proud of making the Dean’s List during my first semester of college! This accomplishment reassured me that I am more than capable of succeeding as long as I work hard and keep moving despite any obstacles I might face. I hope to make the Dean’s List again this spring semester!”

Which professor helped you to succeed during your first year? 
“I don’t think that I would be able to choose just one professor that helped me succeed during my first year at Carthage. They were all extremely supportive and accessible when I found myself asking for help.”

What’s been the biggest surprise about your first year of college? 
“The biggest surprise about my first year of college has been that despite the amount of independence I had with remote learning, I still had the Carthage community right behind me to support me and get me to where I am now!”

List any clubs, orgs, extracurricular activities you were involved in: 

Why was it important for you to get involved on campus right away? 
“I knew I wanted to have a support system on campus and the best way to find one as a commuter would be to get involved! Meeting people that share similar experiences with me is comforting and has definitely made the transition into college much easier!”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen? 
“College is about learning more about who you are and who you want to be. Explore different classes, clubs, interests, etc. Also, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone — it’s not the easiest thing to do, but it’s a great way to grow!”

Rosie Ehle '24Rosie Ehle ’24

Majors:  Accounting and Finance
Hometown: Two Rivers, Wis.

Why did you choose to come to Carthage? 
“My passion is traveling. My goal in life is to experience as much of the world as I can. When I learned about the J-Term trips here at Carthage, I knew it was something I could not pass up. The opportunities to travel through J-Term showed me that Carthage is where I am meant to be.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your first year, and why? 
“My biggest accomplishment in my first year was maintaining my 4.0 GPA. I stayed on top of my studies while also being involved in several activities. I did not hesitate to participate in class or ask my professors for help when needed. College is all about time management and I am proud that I was able to be involved on campus while also keeping my grades up.”

Which staff member helped you to succeed during your first year? 
Professor Matt Borden truly helped me succeed in my Advanced Spanish class. I was very nervous placing so high early on, but after my first week of class, I knew I could do it. Prof. Borden checked up on me after the first week to see how I was doing and to let me know that I was definitely going to succeed in his class and in my future of learning Spanish.”

What’s been the biggest surprise about your first year of college?
“In the fall I decided to join the Ultimate Frisbee Club here on campus. It is something I have never done before and I wanted to try it out. My biggest surprise was how much I loved it! I have the best teammates and have made great friends because of joining. I am able to stay active and have so much fun while doing it. So, try something new; it might surprise you.”

What clubs and activities are you involved in?

Why was it important for you to get involved on campus right away?
“I am a busy and outgoing person. My entire life I have been involved in various activities, and naturally, this has carried into college. It was important for me to get involved right away as it helps to make new friends and it begins the journey of networking and putting my name out there for future careers and employers.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
“My advice for incoming freshmen is not to hesitate to talk to your professors. They are extremely friendly and will do anything they can to help you. They want you to succeed as much as you do. Last year there were two classes that I wanted to take that were full. I emailed the teachers and on both occasions, they opened up another seat for me. They are here to help as well as to teach.”

Tyler Kelly '24Tyler Kelly ’24

Majors: Political Science and International Political Economy
Minor: Social Justice
Hometown: Franklin, Wis.

Why did you choose to come to Carthage?
“I was definitely excited to come to a smaller school where I could get to know my professors individually. I also thought that J-Term would be a great way to enable me to study abroad.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your first year, and why?
“I am proud to have passed one of the first resolutions through Student Government this year because it makes me feel empowered to continue to advocate for the betterment of my school community.”

Which professor helped you to succeed during your first year?
“My advisor and professor Art Cyr has certainly been crucial in my success.”

What’s been the biggest surprise about your first year of college?
“I have been surprised by how many people I have had the pleasure of getting to know. It is awesome to always see people I know while walking down Campus Drive.”

What clubs and activities are you involved in?

Why was it important for you to get involved on campus right away?
“Getting involved right away has been crucial in making friends across all classes. It is also setting me up for academic and career success with the resume boosts and connections I am gaining.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
“I would recommend everyone gets involved as quickly as possible to help in getting to know people and advance their academic and career interests!”

Ayanna Crenshaw '24Ayanna Crenshaw ’24

Major: Business Marketing
Hometown: Racine, Wis.

Why did you choose to come to Carthage?
“I choose to go to Carthage because of the sense of community I felt when I visited. Everyone was so nice, and I felt like I was home. Carthage also gave me the opportunity to excel in the classroom with the small class sizes, and I am able to compete as a scholar-athlete.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your first year, and why?
“I think I’m most proud of being on the Dean’s List my first semester of college. Being on the Dean’s List as a freshman during the pandemic helped me work on resilience and showed me that nothing is impossible when you put in the work.”

Which professor helped you to succeed during your first year?
Professor Stephanie Mitchell. Prof. Mitchell’s class wasn’t a cakewalk for me, but I learned so many valuable lessons that I will need to be successful throughout college. Prof. Mitchell’s class instilled the importance of communicating with professors, taking advantage of the small class sizes, being open-minded, and exploring classes outside of your major. The work you put in outside of the classroom is just as important as in the classroom.”

What’s been the biggest surprise about your first year of college?
“I thought the transition from high school to college would be a lot harder. Carthage made the transition more than bearable even during the pandemic, and I’m more than thankful to have had such a great support system from my teammates, coaches, professors, and the Carthage staff as a whole. The Carthage community is very family-oriented which allowed for a less stressful transition.”

What clubs and activities are you involved in?

Why was it important for you to get involved on campus right away?
“I think it’s important to get involved on campus right away as it leads to a greater sense of community. As you explore the many extracurriculars and clubs that Carthage has to offer, it really allows for you to dive into the many things you may be passionate about.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
“Take a deep breath, enjoy the ride, and embrace the ups and downs along the way. College is what you make it and as generic as that sounds it’s true. It won’t all be a piece of cake but if you reach out to your professors and the rest of the Carthage community, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish when your willing to put your all into it! Good luck and go firebirds!”

Nicole Biba '24

Nicole Biba ’24

Majors: Political Science and Criminal Justice 
Hometown: Cuba City, Wis.

Why did you choose to come to Carthage?
“I loved how Carthage was far enough away from home that I could have my own experiences, but also close enough that I could easily go home. Carthage also checked off a lot that I had on my list like study abroad programs and a small school in a city.”

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your first year, and why?
“I am most proud of making Dean’s List first semester because it was my first big accomplishment of being in college. It made me really happy and proud to know that my hard work had paid off.”

Which professor helped you to succeed during your first year?
“The professor that I believe helped me succeed during my first year would be Professor Paul Ulrich. I loved his Introduction to Political Theory class. Being in this class showed me that I picked the right school and I am working towards a major that is really interesting to me.”

What’s been the biggest surprise about your first year of college?
“The biggest surprise about my first year of college would be that I was able to have in-person classes. I was expecting to only have online classes but I am glad that Carthage was able to offer some of my classes in person!”

What clubs and activities are you involved in?

Why was it important for you to get involved on campus right away?
“It was important for me to get involved right away because I wanted to explore and meet new people. My hometown is three hours away from Carthage, so the only person I semi-knew before coming here was my future roommate. I was able to meet a lot of cool people after getting involved and I learned more about what I want out of my college experience.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
“Get involved. I met the majority of my friends just by getting involved in different opportunities throughout campus. Bingo nights especially!”

 Christian Snyder ’24Christian Snyder '24

Majors: Undeclared
Hometown: Palatine, Ill.

Why did you choose to come to Carthage? 
“I chose to come to Carthage because it had such a good atmosphere, and I’m able to compete in swimming here. Also, it’s close to home which is a plus!”

What accomplishment are you most proud of in your first year, and why?
“I’m most proud of getting on the Dean’s list. With COVID-19 affecting how we do school so drastically, it was hard to get accustomed to all the changes. But in the end, I was more than able to succeed.”

Which professor helped you to succeed during your first year?
“I couldn’t pick just one professor — they all helped me so much! But my Target Language Expert Li Linfeng helped me a lot because he is an upstanding teacher who is patient and is always open to helping his students.”

What’s been the biggest surprise about your first year of college?
“The biggest surprise was finding out how many classes there are to choose from and how big of a variety there is between classes. You really can study anything!”

What clubs and activities are you involved in?

Why was it important for you to get involved on campus right away?
“It’s important to get involved so you can meet new people and find new hobbies you didn’t expect to like.”

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen?
“First, study hard to do the best you can in your classes. Second, days will go by fast, so make the most of each and every one of them. Lastly, be organized and clean — it will help keep you on top of your responsibilities.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • 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 wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 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. More than 90% 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. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing 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 more than 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 students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. 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,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $22,000 up to full tuition. 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. 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.

    • 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 in the Top 5 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 …