Stephanie Zack was never interested in chemistry, but after taking General Chemistry with Kevin Morris her freshman year, she was intrigued by the subject and knew a chemistry major was the right fit for her.
“Chemistry is very hands-on and the department here is fantastic. The professors are always more than willing to help their students with both course-related material as well as future plans. Also, since Carthage is a smaller college, we have many opportunities to use the instruments available to us.”
“I plan on attending graduate school to study chemistry with the intent to conduct research in industry.”
“Before I came to Carthage, I thought that I wanted to be a history teacher, but I switched to chemistry before I started school. I had Dr. Morris for General Chemistry my freshman year. One day, he did a demonstration where he put a rose in a container filled with liquid nitrogen. When he took it out of the container, the rose still looked the same, but when he hit it on the desk, it shattered. I thought that was fascinating. It was while I was in his class that I knew I wanted to pursue chemistry. He has been my advisor and he has helped me find great opportunities that will help me reach my future goals.”
“My favorite class at Carthage so far was called Issues in Living and Dying. I took the class as my second religion requirement. This class was my favorite because I learned a lot about people as well as myself. In the class we did activities that were outside of my comfort zone, but I felt like I learned a lot from the experience.”
“My toughest class at Carthage was General Physics. The concepts were challenging, and solving problems was difficult. I thought the problems that could be solved using physics were interesting, but it took me a long time to come up with a plan for solving them.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“This past summer I participated in the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. I worked on a research project, under the guidance of Dr. Morris, that used molecular dynamic simulations to understand the intermolecular interactions between molecular micelles and chiral ligands. I then went with other Carthage students to present our summer research at the Midstates Consortium for Math and Science in St. Louis. I also continued working on a related research project this past fall.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“Some of my favorite Carthage memories were made when I stayed on campus during summer break to work on research. Several of my friends also stayed for the summer and it was fun having the opportunity to hang out with them on campus, by the lake.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“The biggest surprise so far is that the friends I have made in college feel like family to me. I was not expecting that to happen so quickly. I have noticed that the people are what make Carthage so special.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“My 8-year-old self would be surprised. I always thought that I was going to be a history teacher. I never was very interested in science until my last year of high school, so I never would have expected myself to be studying chemistry.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Give it a chance before deciding if it is the right choice or not. It requires time and hard work, but it is worth it in the end. It is fun being able to perform experiments in lab and to learn from the chemistry professors. It is clear that they are all passionate - not only about chemistry, but also about working with students.”