Samuel Tomten

Class Year

’16

Hometown

Janesville, Wisconsin

Major(s)

History and Political Science

Samuel Tomten ’16 was immediately drawn into Carthage by its atmosphere. “I knew I didn’t want to go anywhere else after I arrived here for the first time,” he said. In high school, Samuel competed in Carthage’s Presidential Scholarships Program, and was one of three incoming freshmen awarded with the Lincoln Scholarship. This prestigious award covers tuition, and room and board for four years. 

Upon getting accepted to Carthage, Samuel decided to study history because it covers a broad base of learning, requiring competence in areas such as English, economics, anthropology, philosophy, and politics. “I love that it gives me awareness of the world around me, while also allowing me to study the mistakes of the past and form ideas of how to fix these mistakes for the future.”

Samuel has presented his research at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) and the Phi Alpha Theta regional history conference two years in a row. On campus, he is involved in Phi Alpha Theta, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Habitat for Humanity.”

“I can’t believe how much I’ve learned, or how many people I’ve met. I’ve re-evaluated almost everything I thought I knew when I was in high school and I love it!”

“I can’t believe how much I’ve learned, or how many people I’ve met. I’ve re-evaluated almost everything I thought I knew when I was in high school and I love it!”

Samuel Tomten, ’16

Career goal

“I have no idea! I want to do a lot of different things. A good friend recently told me I could do anything I want, so I’m just going to start doing things and see what happens.”

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

Jerald Mast has absolutely changed the way I view sustainability and political viewpoints. Take his Environmental Politics class (POL 3620). Stephanie Mitchell has opened doors for me in research and employment since I met her. You may see her around campus walking her dog. Stop and say ‘hi.’”

Favorite class

20th Century American History. Prof. Noer knows way more than anyone else about pretty much everything there is to know in the history field, and what other class exists where you can read Hemingway as an example of the American mindset after World War I? Incredible!”

Campus involvement

“I am the vice president of Phi Alpha Theta and am a member of Pi Sigma Alpha and Habitat for Humanity.”

Toughest class

“My Senior Seminars. I spend a good 20 hours per week working on my thesis papers. It’s wearing me out, but I think it’s worth it.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve presented at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research (NCUR) two years in a row at Prof. Mitchell’s urging. I’ve also presented at the Phi Alpha Theta regional history conference two years in a row. All four experiences have been great.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My sophomore year, I took Prof. Jerald Mast’s Environmental Politics class. We were reading Aldo Leopold’s essay Think Like a Mountain, and when we were done, Prof. Mast said, ‘Your assignment this weekend is to go sit on the beach and think like a lake. Be Aldo Leopold, and tell me about what you discover.’ I had no idea what he was talking about, and I still don’t, but I’ll figure it out.”

Favorite spot on campus

“Definitely the beach! You can’t beat it.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise to me is how much I’ve learned, and how many people I’ve met. I’ve re-evaluated almost everything I thought I knew when I was in high school and I love it!”

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

“He’d probably hate me. I wanted to be a pro baseball player when I was 8, but life brings change.”

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

“Go talk to the professors. They’ll convince you.”