Jenna Dahlke

Class Year



Weston, Wis.


Music Performance, English

Jenna Dahlke, a double major in English and music, continues to find links between the two fields. “They explore similar yet different facets of creativity,” she said. “Poetry, short stories, symphonies and concertos are all creative masterpieces that may never be fully understood. Everything learned in both majors happens when one tries to make sense of the finished product’s components.” 

Since arriving at Carthage only a few short years ago, Jenna has kept busy playing oboe and flute in a variety of music ensembles, as well as being involved with Centrique, Carthage’s annual student publication of visual and literary art. After graduation she hopes to make it in the editing and/or publishing business and publish her own novels.

“Carthage provides its students with wonderful faculty members who sincerely care and are invested in each individual’s education.”

Jenna Dahlke, ’15

Career goal

“In the future, I hope to make it in the editing and/or publishing business, as well as publish my own novels.” 

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

“I can’t choose just one! Profs. Ripley, Carrig, Kiesel, Petering and Meier have all made a huge difference in my education.” 

Favorite class

“My favorite class was definitely Creative Writing with Prof. Rick Meier. We would frequently go outside to observe the nature around us and get inspired to write beautiful poetry.” 

Campus involvement

“I play oboe in Wind Orchestra, Woodwind Quintet, and occasionally Chamber Orchestra, while I play flute in Pep Band. Centrique also proves to be rewarding for my English major.” 

Toughest class

“Both of the required Western Heritage classes were tough, as it was difficult not only to read through some of the classics, but also to write high quality essays on them.” 

Opportunities at Carthage

“Carthage has provided numerous ways for me to establish connections among my peers, whether it be with other music and English majors, or with people who do not share my interests but have expanded my horizons. The College has also provided its students with wonderful faculty members who sincerely care and are invested in each individual’s education.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite moment at Carthage was getting to share the stage with Miss America 2012 (Carthage alumna Laura Kaeppeler) as a member of the Carthage Wind Orchestra. Who else gets to say that they’ve met Miss America?”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is anywhere near the lake. It’s so peaceful to just sit and relax to the sounds of Lake Michigan.” 

Biggest surprise so far

“I am continuously surprised and thankful for the strong and rewarding friendships I have made at Carthage.” 

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

“My 8-year-old self would probably be surprised that I’ve stuck with music for this long, and she would wonder what continuously draws me to the creativity of music and writing. I still have yet to figure it out.” 

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

“For prospective English majors, my advice would be to get involved and to attend every English class with an open mind. I always learn something new that I never intended to. For music majors, I would encourage students to be diligent and always willing to improve. The most expressive parts of music will be the most rewarding once you’ve laid a strong foundation to build on.”