Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.

Stephanie Kuzmanic

Class Year



Mount Prospect, Ill.


Exercise and Sports Science


Secondary Education, Health

Stephanie Kuzmanic has been around athletics her entire life and knew that she wanted to pursue a career that involved sports. She likes that the Exercise and Sports Science major is hands-on. “A lot of the instruction is in a gym or on a field rather than a classroom,” she said. “Instead of just learning about something, we get out there and try it. I love that this major constantly keeps you active.” 

Stephanie would ultimately like to both teach and coach basketball at the collegiate level. “I would like to pursue a master’s degree so that I can teach physical fitness and health classes while coaching athletes in a sport that I love and have been playing all of my life,” she said. 

“Carthage has continually provided me with new and exciting opportunities over the last four years and I still find myself discovering opportunities as I go.”

Stephanie Kuzmanic, ’14

Career goal

“Ultimately, my career goal would be to both teach and coach basketball at the collegiate level.”

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

“My favorite professor has to be Michele Bonn. There is never a dull moment with Michele. When teaching, she is always energetic and enthusiastic. She is willing to come in on her own time and give additional help to students who are struggling, and she always does everything in her power to see us succeed. Michele really cares about each and every one of her students and she makes an effort to actually get to know us on a personal level. She is not only interested in what us students are doing inside the classroom, but outside the classroom as well. I can always go to her for advice on anything. Michele has been influential in my decision of what career path to follow after college, and I can’t thank her enough. She is one of the most positive, encouraging and caring people I know.” 

Favorite class

“My favorite class I have taken  is probably Theory and Practice of Rhythm, Dance and Gymnastics. I’m absolutely the worst gymnast the world has ever seen, so learning more about the sport and improving my skills was a lot of fun! As for the dance portion, we learned about the different dances of cultures all around the world, as well as popular dances in America from various decades. For our final project, we had to create a music video using different dance and gymnastics moves we had learned over the semester. My group and I taped ourselves doing silly dances all over campus. It was an awesome time!”

Campus involvement

“I am captain of the women’s basketball team, President of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), and a member of the Pi Delta Chi service sorority.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I have taken would be Kinesiology. Although I find the subject extremely intriguing, it is a lot of hard work. You have to memorize just about every bone, ligament, tendon and muscle in the body, and know how they work together to create movement. To do well you do need to dedicate a lot of your free time to studying, but it is completely worth it. I don’t think I have learned more in any other class, and being a future physical education teacher and coach, it is very useful information I’ll need to relay to my students or athletes.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Carthage has continually provided me with new and exciting opportunities over the last four years and I still find myself discovering opportunities as I go. The fact that Carthage is a liberal arts school has provided me with many options. Freshman year I changed my major quite a few times, so I was glad that I could take a variety of classes to see what I enjoyed most. Carthage has also provided me, and many other students, the opportunity to participate in activities we enjoy. Whether it be athletics, sororities and fraternities, band, choir, theater, or some other club, Carthage has an option out there for everyone.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite memory was when our basketball team won the CCIW conference championship last year. It was Carthage’s first ever championship in women’s basketball, and it was unbelievable to be a part of that history. There wasn’t an open seat in the gym that night, and being able to win on our home court in front of all our family, friends and fans, and earning an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament was one of the best moments of my life.”

Favorite spot on campus

“Obviously I am biased, but my favorite spot on campus is the Tarble Arena. There is probably no other place that I spend more time in than that gym. Over the years I have had more memories on that court than I can count.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I never would have guessed that I would have met so many great people and built so many great relationships here at Carthage. The best advice I could ever give anyone is to get involved. The more you participate in, the more people you meet and the more connections you make. I am so thankful that I decided to join the activities I did, because I’ve met some of my best friends though them, and I know that these will be life-long relationships.”

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

“Hysterically enough, when I was 8-years-old I wanted to be a cab driver. I’m not sure what my 8-year-old self might think of my current career path back then, but I am sure that I am definitely okay with my choice now!”

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

“Exercise and Sports Science can be an extremely rewarding major, but you only get out of it what you put into it. If you take an interest in the material and approach each class with a positive attitude, it will pay off. You can really learn a lot, but you have to be willing to do the work and dedicate your time to it. Whether you are pursuing a career in teaching, coaching, physical therapy, personal training, or another exercise related profession, the professors of this major will make sure that you are well prepared as you graduate and move on to the next step in your career.”