Jenna Leazott ?18

Jenna Leazott

Class Year


Current home

Elmhurst, Illinois


Political Science and Sociology

Current Position

Short-Term Recruiter for the Young Adults in Global Mission Program for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Jenna Leazott graduated from Carthage in 2018 with degrees in political science and sociology. She took many classes in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and received several awards, including the Ruud Scholar, Judith Schaumburg Award for Excellence in Women’s and Gender Studies, Olson-Thom Scholarship for Excellence in Political Science, Political Science Senior Recognition Award, Sociological Imagination Award for Sociology, and honors for her political science and sociology theses.

Ms. Leazott credits Professors Ellen Hauser and Danielle Geary as holding fundamental roles in her successes. She states that each of them believed in her, celebrated her successes, and challenged her outlook on the world by providing a vulnerable classroom setting and equipping her with concrete ways to live out her life. 

Through the classes Ms. Leazott took on women’s and gender studies, she gained a broader understanding of gender and sexuality, as well as the ability to discuss these topics in various capacities, making her a better thinker, reader, and writer. The skills that she gained from taking these classes help Ms. Leazott better communicate and understand the realities of LGBTQ+ migrants and youth who she works with as a recruiter for the Young Adults in Global Mission Program for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. 

“I was taught strategies for resilience, both in my academic and personal life, and my passion for service was fostered throughout my time at Carthage in many different expressions.”

Jenna Leazott, ’18

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I just returned from serving a year in Mexico through the YAGM program and love the opportunity to process my year through telling my stories. I get to talk about a program I am incredibly passionate about, connect with young adults, and make connections for my future career with people all over the country.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“I’m definitely a better public speaker after Carthage, through organizations like Model United Nations, defending my thesis, giving presentations in class, and being a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions. I was always encouraged to find my voice and be creative with how I shared my information, which has helped immensely in connecting with youth from all over the country.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“The cross-cultural experience I received at Carthage through J-Term study tours and through organizations like Model United Nations helped me immensely when I was living abroad in Mexico. I was working with migrants from all over Latin America and was able to navigate cultural differences and establish deeper relationships because I had received so much exposure to cross-cultural experiences during my time at Carthage.”

What's your favorite Carthage memory?

“My favorite Carthage memories are traveling with friends to places I never thought I would see, and being able to form relationships with my professors that have lasted far beyond just college. Carthage made me into a more well-rounded, well-traveled, and passionate individual who was allowed to pave her own way due to the individualized attention I received from faculty and staff during my time at Carthage. I was able to flourish by having a large group of people at my back that supported me, allowing me to go out into the world and do things I couldn’t have imagined myself doing pre-Carthage.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“The opportunities are endless; issues of gender and sexuality are prevalent in just about every field, and your education has practical application. Don’t forget that your voice matters, your education matters, and that what you’re doing is worthwhile. Some people will not think that this program is worth the time, but learning about the reality of the power structures that we live and breathe every day is never a waste of time.”

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