Elizabeth Lanum

Class Year



Kenosha, Wis.





Elizabeth (Liza) Lanum has big plans to become a surgeon or geneticist. Thanks to Carthage, she will be more than prepared for either of those jobs, she said. She is immersed in what she calls a “great Biology Department,” where she can specialize in different areas and participate in multiple research opportunities throughout the school year and the summer.

“My favorite moment at Carthage? Being able to discover something that no one else has seen yet in my Phage Hunters Research Class.”

Elizabeth Lanum, ’16

Career goal

“My career goal is to become a surgeon or a geneticist.” 

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

“My favorite professor is Dan Choffnes. He’s been my mentor for my SURE project and is helping me develop further research skills, as well as guide me in the right direction.” 

Favorite class

“My favorite class was Cancer Biology taught by Prof. Singh. It was interesting exploring cancer and learning how it develops as well as the biology behind it. This was a J-Term class where we had lecture and a few field trips, one of which was to the Northwestern University Nanotechnology Labs. This class ties many sciences together and was challenging at all kinds of levels.” 

Campus involvement

“I am currently in the Pre-Health Club. I volunteer at the Aurora Hospital in the ER department. In addition to that, I have several jobs on campus that include photography and working in the Institutional Advancement Office.” 

Toughest class

“Cellular Biology. It is one of the most essential sciences for a biology major because it acts as a building block for other sciences.” 

Opportunities at Carthage

“I participated in SURE Interdisciplinary Studies this summer. I researched the Characterization of Qi in Modern and Classical Chinese Traditional Medical Discourse. I also participated in Phage Hunters I and II this year, where I isolated a Mycobacteriophage that I named Nimbus2000. The professors are willing to help you if you have specific interests in the subject, and that allows students like me to gain more experience in the field earlier.” 

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite moment at Carthage? Being able to discover something that no one else has seen yet in my Phage Hunters Research Class.” 

Biggest surprise so far

“The amount of support you get from your professors and the fun learning environment in labs and classrooms.” 

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

“Take as many courses as you can in high school that will prepare you for being a biology major, and take advantage of any programs or opportunities that come by.”