Cassandra Kawell

Class Year

’11

Hometown

Wonder Lake, Ill.

Major(s)

Computer Science

Minor(s)

Spanish

Since coming to Carthage, Cassandra Kawell has had many opportunities — some of which would not have been possible if she had not decided to study computer science.

“I honestly had no idea what field of study I wanted to go into when I first came to Carthage,” she said. “I came in saying I was going to try accounting. In the fall of my sophomore year, I had signed up for an accounting course and a computer science course, which I had learned about from the Math and Science Scholarship. After that semester, I realized that I enjoyed creating a working program versus dealing with numbers.”

Cassandra was drawn to Carthage by its small class sizes and, of course, the lake. She appreciates the fact that the Computer Science Department is smaller so she has a better chance to get to know her professors and classmates.

“I think the department has a good selection of professors,” she said. “They are interested in what they are teaching, and that makes it more enjoyable to be in those classes. … Honestly, I can’t pick just one of my professors as my favorite. Without them, I may not have ever even thought about becoming a computer science major.”

During her sophomore year, Cassandra had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala during J-Term. It allowed her to put her Spanish minor to use and to make some new friends. During summer 2010, she was also fortunate to participate in the SURE program with fellow classmate Isaac Rothenbaum under the direction of Professor Mark Mahoney.

“We created a program and learned what it’s like to work in pairs. I also learned extra information that is not taught in classes that will help me when I finally get a job in the computer science world,” Cassandra said.

“I think the department has a good selection of professors. They are interested in what they are teaching, and that makes it more enjoyable to be in those classes.”

Cassandra Kawell, ’11

Career goal

“I intend on going to graduate school to find a more specific passion in computer science.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class had to be Data Structures. I had come in with very little knowledge of creating classes so I struggled horribly. But Professor Mahoney helped me after class to learn how classes worked and I made it through the class with a passing grade.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Guatemala had to be one of my favorite moments. I made a lot of new friends and had a very enjoyable J-Term. I’ve also enjoyed performing for the International Friendship Society’s events.”

Favorite spot on campus

“The lake has to be one of my favorite places on campus. But I also like where the sidewalk ends over by the softball field.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I became the president of Latin/Belly Dance Club last year. I never thought that I would be able to take control of a group of people and make decisions to help them. I also never saw myself in a teaching position. I currently am teaching the newcomers how to belly dance.”

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

“As long as you try your hardest, you’ll be successful. If you can go out of the country for J-Term to get away from everything, do it. Also, try getting into the S.U.R.E. research group over the summer. You’ll learn things that you don’t get to learn during normal classes.”