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French at Carthage

Student Voices

  • Brittney Frederick '17
    Brittney Frederick '17
    Submitted Photo

Brittney Frederick ’17


Plainfield, Ill.


French, Political Science


Spanish, Sociology

Favorite spot on campus

“Einstein’s. Usually when people are looking for me, Einstein’s is the first place they check because I’m almost always there doing work, studying, spending time with friends, or just eating a bagel. I’ve actually been asked if I live in Einstein’s because of how much time I spend there. Despite it being a popular place on campus, I can really focus on my work while I’m there, especially late at night, and lucky for me, the area is open 24/7.”

Brittney Frederick was attracted to the beauty of campus and the proximity to places like Milwaukee and Chicago. Now that she is here, she studies French and political science. “Knowing another language opens so many doors,” she said. “You learn about a whole new culture and way of life, which can make you even more understanding and accepting.”

Brittney has been crucial to the development of the ONE campaign chapter on campus, an international advocacy effort to end global extreme poverty and preventable disease. She led the Campus Challenge effort, which was a competition with other collegiate chapters across the nation – and won both semesters. “It was great to receive recognition on the national level and help the Electrify Africa Act (H.R. 2548) pass through the House of Representatives,” she said. “Plus, it gave us even more motivation to keep working hard to help end global poverty.”  

Career goal

“After Carthage, I am planning on going to law school to study international/comparative law. Eventually, I’d love to work in the US Department of State or the United Nations.”

Favorite professor

“I especially love all of the professors I’ve had in the Modern Language Department; they’re all so experienced, friendly, and willing to help their students. Isabel Rivero-Vilá is definitely a wonderful professor who brings out the best in her students. Her classes are full of activities for students to better understand the material at hand, and she makes sure her students have a good grasp on the lesson. She’s extremely supportive and nurturing, as well. She’s written a last-minute letter of recommendation for me, and has done a lot to support ONE. Professor Matthew Borden has had an impact on my life by making me strive to work harder and harder each day, and through his classes he has helped me develop my interests which has helped me immensely in choosing a career path. I remember that at the end of my first semester, he told me that I made his class better, which made me want to continue to work hard and continue studying Spanish. I’ve had him for three classes during my freshman year and he’s been a pleasure to have as a professor. One memory that I will never forget is when he asked me to take his daughter to lunch one day while he had meetings. I found it pretty special that, out of all of his students, I was the one he chose to spend time with his daughter, and it was a great time speaking Spanish and joking around with her.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class was The French Speaking World: Social, Political, and Economic Issues. The class incorporated my love of French while learning about international issues, primarily in the Francophone world. We studied the political systems, religion, healthcare, immigration, and more in France, Senegal, and Quebec. My favorite part was we, as students, were given a final project including selecting a different Francophone country and reporting on it to the class, and writing a research paper regarding an important topic in the country. I was passionate about my paper, and sought to argue that there is no religious freedom in Morocco, despite what their constitution says.”

Toughest class

“Issues in Economics was definitely the toughest class I’ve taken so far. It was a lecture-style class, which was something I wasn’t used to, and it involved a lot of studying terms and graphs.”


“In the spring of 2014, I was a part of the ONE Campus Internship Program where I recruited, supported, and managed a team of peers in structured and creative advocacy campaigns in order to engage students on campus in the fight against extreme poverty and disease. Through the internship program, I was able to challenge Carthage students to mobilize as global development advocates and ensured legislative and policy victories for improved government, greater economic development, and smarter aid in the developing world. It was a great program and I look forward to continuing the internship while I’m still in college. Starting in the summer of 2014, I’m an intern at the Kenosha County Courthouse under Judge Mary Wagner. I attend jury selections, watch court proceedings, and shadow the judge.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve had more opportunities than I imagined I could since starting at Carthage. I’ve been able to lead and grow student organizations, become recognized as a leader on the national level, and helped to get important legislation passed through Congress with the support of Carthage students. I have had the opportunity to do undergraduate research about anti-gay pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through the SURE Program with Professor Wayne Thompson, the coolest cat of them all. One of the most valuable opportunities I’ve had, though, is to be able to explore and cultivate my interests through classes and organizations at Carthage.”

Campus involvement

“I’m the Campus Leader for ONE at Carthage, which is a chapter of the ONE Campaign, an international grassroots advocacy campaign to end global poverty and disease. Our chapter competes against other collegiate chapters across the nation through the ONE Campus Challenge. This past year, we won first place for both semesters! I am also the vice-president of the newly-formed Pre-Law Club and treasurer of Phi Alpha Delta, the international law fraternity. I’m the historian for French Club, a staff reporter for The Current, and am an active member in Pi Delta Chi, the women’s service sorority, and Alpha Lambda Delta, the freshman honors society. I also work on campus as a Sociological Research Assistant, French and Spanish Tutor and Student Ambassador.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“My favorite moment was winning the ONE Campus Challenge for the Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 semesters. Other favorite moments of mine include walks on the beach, painting Kissing Rock with my organizations, and late nights in the Union with my friends.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise would definitely be the amount of opportunities I’ve had during my time here at Carthage.”

What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?

“As an 8-year-old, I dreamed of becoming a professional tennis player and winning Grand Slams. Obviously, that didn’t happen, but I’m pretty sure that my 8-year-old self would still be impressed with me because of how much I’ve grown, enhanced my knowledge, and have worked to help others and become a global citizen.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Go for it! Majoring in a foreign language leads to so many more opportunities because you have a knowledge of other countries and cultures, become more accepting and understanding, and can communicate with a wider array of people.”


Haley Meents ’15
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), 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 wings, 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

    • Modern Languages Professor Pascal Rollet writes songs that highlight grammar points in French and Spanish. He uses software to merge synthesized instruments, guitar, and vocals into tunes a college audience can tolerate, and learn from.

    • 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, 2017 and 2018, 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. 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 …