Andrew Straszewski ’14 describes Carthage College as his perfect fit — both as a student and as a student athlete.
“The smaller class sizes afford me the opportunity to form personal relationships with my professors, something that I don’t feel I would have achieved had I attended a larger campus,” says Andrew. “All of the professors have been extremely approachable and easily accessible. I have found that all of the professors in the science departments seem to have my best interests in mind.”
A biology major with a pre-health focus, Andrew has had many opportunities for hands-on research. He’s worked with Prof. Dan Choffnes of the Biology Department, and as a biology lab assistant. During J-Term 2012, he traveled to Nicaragua on one of the College’s most popular J-Term study tours. While there, he worked in rural medical clinics, and gained some real world experience in the medical field.
In December 2012, he traveled to Virginia with Prof. Deborah Tobiason and Prof. Patrifck Pfaffle to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a major biomedical research facility. While there, he learned research techniques that he and his professors brought back to Carthage to teach to other students. After he graduates, Andrew plans to attend medical school either for neurology or oncology.
“The smaller class sizes afford me the opportunity to form personal relationships with my professors, something that I don’t feel I would have achieved had I attended a larger campus.”
To earn an M.D. and Ph.D., possibly in neurology or oncology.
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“I have had the opportunity to be exposed to several faculty members in the Biology Department. I simply cannot single out one professor who has been most influential to me. I would like to acknowledge Prof. Elaine Radwanski and Prof. Dan Choffnes for pushing me in my academic endeavors. Both Dr. Choffnes and Dr. Radwanski have opened my eyes to the field of biological research. It is through the advising of these professors that I have begun to think of, and systematically approach answers to, new scientific questions.”
“My favorite class has been Cell and Molecular Biology, taught by Dr. Tobiason. Despite the rigor of this course, I cannot think of one lecture that didn’t hold my attention.”
“I am always busy on campus. I belong to Habitat for Humanity, Alpha Lambda Delta, Pre-Health Club, and I am a member of the all-male a cappella group called Maximum Capacity. I also am a member of the Carthage Men’s Track and Field team and participate in intramural sports such as flag football and basketball.”
“I found my toughest class to be Western Heritage, due to the sheer amount of reading and writing required.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Some of my favorite moments at Carthage College have been meeting so many people in such a short period of time. From meeting peers in my same field of study, to bonding with other teammates on the track squad, it is incredible to think of how many new relationships I have formed. Another favorite moment at Carthage was performing with my Maximum Capacity group in the Campbell Student Union. Seeing all of the students in the crowd who came to support us was a great feeling.”
Favorite spot on campus
“My favorite spot on campus is the park bench near the Todd Wehr Center. After I go on runs, I often find myself sitting there for 10, even 15 minutes. It is a good place to unwind and just watch Lake Michigan.”
Biggest surprise so far
“My biggest surprise so far has been how much free time you actually have in a day. If you are able to manage your time efficiently, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have some relaxation time.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“My advice for other students considering a science major would be to get involved in campus activities and really get to know your professors. Share your goals with them, and they will help you achieve them. Find some sort of stress relief activity so it’s not all about studying. Carthage is a great place to meet people.”