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Student Voices

Madeline Owca ’19


Madison, Wisconsin




French and Secondary Education

Favorite spot on campus

“I love the study area in the Science Center! It’s always so quiet there, perfect for studying, and you can’t beat the view!”

Madeline Owca’s love for English goes deeper than reading and writing. To her, English is the basis for many other subjects.

“Great writers can teach us about history, psychology, and art — all woven into beautiful stories and verses. Great works of literature are often the basis for culture, so if you want to understand other cultures better, start with their literature.”

She hopes to use her English degree after Carthage to teach high school level English, and eventually get involved with education on a government level.

Her greatest advice to someone who is studying English is to make time to read and read outside of your comfort zone. “I never thought I would like Kafka or Vonnegut, but reading them gave me valuable knowledge about surrealism that has helped me in my studies in a big way!”

Career goal

“I hope to teach high school level English, and eventually get involved with education on a government level through a school board or otherwise.”

Favorite professor

Pascal Rollet actually interviewed me for the Lincoln Scholarship, and now I have the privilege of being in his French class. Prof. Rollet is part of the reason I decided to minor in French. His class is so engaging, and he is truly teaching us to understand French in a global context. Pamela Smiley has also already had such a positive impact on me here at Carthage. The discussions we have in her class are fascinating, and I’m learning to appreciate literature from a whole new perspective.”

Favorite class

“I absolutely love my American Literature course because it encompasses so much more than just literature. We discuss religion, history, feminism, even Disney movies, all in relation to famous American authors. I feel like I gain a brand new perspective on literature every day.”

Toughest class

“While I love my French class, it is also the most difficult class I’m currently in. It encompasses many different aspects of French. We learn about different Francophone countries, their cultures, French history, colonization, and of course, the French language. While it is difficult to juggle so many different aspects of learning, I always feel like a better global citizen when I complete a French assignment, so the hard work is worth it!”

Campus involvement

“Right now, I am in Belly Dancing Club, Swing Dancing Club, CAB, French Club, and Students Against Sexism in Society (SASS). I love the dance clubs here at Carthage because they provide an opportunity to exercise and get to know people, and you can get involved no matter what skill level. French Club is perfect for any level French student. I love getting to practice the language in such a fun, relaxed environment. Plus, we’ve already done some really fun activities. Last weekend we all watched a French movie together, and our last meeting was at a cafe in downtown Kenosha. CAB is the perfect club for anyone who wants to be more involved on campus, and the E-Board is so friendly. SASS is such an important cause to me, and they are really great about creating a respectful, safe environment to discuss a controversial issue. I love my Carthage clubs!”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“When the super moon eclipse happened, some friends and I went and sat on the rocks at the lake to watch. I remember a moment when the eclipse reached its peak and everyone on the rocks went quiet. All you could hear was the lapping of the waves on the shore. It was so amazing to see so many students come together to share a magical moment, and reminded me that we go to a really special school.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“I still can’t believe how friendly everyone is on campus, and in Kenosha in general. People who I’ve met once go out of their way to say ‘hi’ to me on Campus Drive, and people at the farmer’s market will just walk up and say good morning to me. It’s so refreshing!”

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

“I think 8-year-old Maddy would be proud that I was trying to make a difference in people’s lives. However, she might be a little disappointed that I hadn’t figured out how to become a mermaid yet.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Make time to read over the summer and try to read outside of your comfort genre. I never thought I would like Kafka or Vonnegut, but reading them gave me valuable knowledge about surrealism that has helped me in my studies in a big way!”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2019), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …