Jacob Hurlburt

Jacob Hurlburt

Class Year


Current home

Madison, Wis.


Psychological Science

Current Position

Lab Manager at University of Wisconsin-Madison

The ability to be flexible is a trait highly valued by Carthage alumnus Jacob Hurlburt ’17. It is a trait he uses everyday in his career and a trait he credits Carthage for teaching him. 

Jacob Hurlburt graduated from Carthage in 2017 with a degree in psychological science. He works as a Lab Manager for the Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher Research Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a Lab Manager, Mr. Hurlburt handles operational duties such as managing the lab’s finances and employees, and assists Dr. Gernsbacher in carrying out her research projects. Dr. Gernsbacher’s lab focuses on autism research, language comprehension research, and diversity research. 

Mr. Hurlburt loves the variability he sees working in a research lab, knowing that every stage of a research project will bring new objectives. Whether it be a flood in the lab or having to overcome an obstacle with a project, Mr. Hurlburt is up for any challenge he might face in his career.

“Be flexible. You will find much more success when you demonstrate a willingness to take on new tasks and learn new skills.”

Jacob Hurlburt, ’17

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

I mostly enjoy the flexibility and variability. Working in research certainly has repetitive tasks, but each stage of a project brings new objectives that keep things interesting. If I am ever stuck in a roadblock with one project, there is usually something else I can work on for a bit to refocus.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“Carthage’s emphasis on critical thinking and flexibility have served me greatly in my career. Each research project I have worked on has been different and required a new set of skills that I may have not initially possessed. Thanks to Carthage, I was able to learn the skills I need and came to master them.

“The Psychological Science Department faculty played a great part in my success. Their emphasis on research and critical thinking was what originally sparked my desire to pursue psychological science as a career.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“My liberal arts education helped me when the research wing where my lab is located flooded. With standing water in four of the six rooms I manage, there was a lot that needed to be done to recover. Over the next two and a half months, I coordinated with our department manager, technicians, and other staff to restore the lab to a functional state. Each part of the lab that needed to be rebuilt brought new challenges. I am very grateful for my liberal arts education because it prepared me to capably handle every challenge I have been presented with.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“Be flexible. You will find much more success when you demonstrate a willingness to take on new tasks and learn new skills. What you are doing may not be exactly what you want, but every experience and skill you take on demonstrates a commitment to learning and personal growth.”

Are you a Carthage alum who is excelling in your field?