Ann O’Leary

Class Year



Evansville, Wis.


Biology, Neuroscience



Ann O’Leary learned at an early age that she loved neuroscience and biology. Being able to double major in both subjects at the college level is one of the reasons Ann chose to come to Carthage.

“I have always had a love for science and a fascination for the brain,” she said. “Being able to major in both biology and neuroscience is something that I didn’t think was possible before I visited Carthage.”

When she arrived on campus for her official tour, it was love at first sight, she said.

“Carthage felt like my home the moment I stepped on campus. The night before my official tour, I attended the theater performance ‘Lysistrata’ with my mom. It was Greek Night for the campus and all of the sorority and fraternities were there. The students in attendance were dressed up in togas and the campus spirit was alive. I knew from that moment that Carthage was the school for me.”

What she loves about the Biology and Neuroscience departments: “There is not an endpoint to science,” she says. “We will never know everything that there is to know, which is exactly what I love about biology. One doesn’t just learn about evolution when studying biology, because biology itself is ever evolving. Carthage’s biology program is unsurpassed, and it is truly preparing me for my career in medicine. The biology courses here teach not only the fundamentals, but also keep students abreast on the groundbreaking research being conducted worldwide. I am a life-long learner with a passion for gaining as much knowledge as I can, which is why I chose to study biology at Carthage.”

Favorite aspects of the Biology Department: “I think that both departments offer strong personal connections with the professors. Without their support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They never make you feel like you have to tackle a tough topic alone and are always more than willing to help.”

“The biology courses here teach not only the fundamentals, but also keep students abreast on the groundbreaking research being conducted worldwide.”

Ann O’Leary, ’14

Career goal

“I plan on graduating college and attending graduate school, then working somewhere within the healthcare field.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“That is a really tough question. All of the professors here at Carthage have been great so it’s hard to just choose one. I’ve really enjoyed courses with Dan Miller, Professor Koudelka, and Dr. Rad. Each of these professors has given me encouragement and advice not only pertaining to the class but also my career aspirations. They are professors who teach more than what is in the textbook.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far has been Research Methods in Neuroscience. How many undergrads get to say they’ve done a surgery? It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun at the same time.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I just finished an internship with Covance Inc. I worked in the Biomarker Center of Excellence, using flow cytometry and differential centrifugation to analyze and isolate microparticles from human blood. I focused on the intra-individual variability and the inter-individual variability to create a standardized protocol for the company to follow.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve been able to do rat surgery as an undergrad, which is an amazing opportunity,” she said. “I’ve also traveled to Nicaragua over J-Term to work in clinics alongside doctors. This experience allowed me to explore the medical field more to guide me in my future career. In addition, Carthage’s liberal arts focus has allowed me to explore other areas that I enjoy such as acting.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off of the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning. I’ve also loved hanging out with my friends and of course going to the dances for my sorority. And I’ll never forget getting my bid from Alpha Chi Omega.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“Study hard but enjoy the little things. Don’t get so bogged down that you forget to enjoy the college experience! Also get to know your professors. They are a wealth of knowledge, not only regarding classes, but also life.”