Sohayla Horani

Class Year



Portland, Ore.


Biology, Neuroscience



Sohayla Horani ’15 has a very specific career goal in mind. She wants to attend dental school, followed by medical school, on her way to becoming an oral trauma surgeon. “Because of the field I want to go into, I knew that small classroom sizes would allow me to really grasp the subjects I was going to study,” Sohayla said. 

She found these small class sizes, and more, at Carthage. “I like the small school atmosphere and the balance offered between athletics and academics,” she said. “Also, the Neuroscience Program and the available hands-on experience offered in the lab.”

At Carthage, undergraduate students in the Neuroscience Program perform surgery on rats, something that most schools only offer for graduate students. In the Biology Department, students are constantly involved in research, and incoming freshman have the chance to apply for the Phage Hunters course. 

Now a double major in biology and neuroscience, and a minor in chemistry, Sohayla has a lot on her plate. She gets inspiration from her professors. “The professors I have are passionate about the subjects they’re teaching,” she said. “Learning a subject from somebody who is passionate about the material not only makes the curriculum more interesting, but it makes it more appreciable.” 

As a future oral trauma surgeon, Sohalya would like to spend her life “reconstructing cranial and oral-related trauma injuries both in the United States, as well as in third world countries.”  

“At a big state school, I would not have been given the opportunity to partake in the advancement of my surgical skills. At Carthage, it’s a staple of the neuroscience program.”

Sohayla Horani, ’15

Career goal

To become an oral trauma surgeon, and spend her life “reconstructing cranial and oral-related trauma injuries, both in the United States as well as in third world countries.”

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

“I doubt I could pick just one favorite professor; I might just have a favorite in every science department. In the Chemistry Department, I’ve enjoyed having Dr. Eckert as my organic chemistry professor, and Dr. Blaine was amazing for inorganic chemistry. Then in the Biology Department, I loved having Cellular and Molecular Biology with Dr. Radwanski. Then there’s the Neuroscience Program, where Dr. Miller is probably everybody’s favorite professor.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has been my Neuroscience Research Methods class because of the hands-on experience offered in the lab. It’s definitely something I doubt I would have gotten the chance to partake in at a larger college.”

Campus involvement

“I play on the lacrosse team year round, and I’m a Student Ambassador.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class so far has been my genetics class. The directions in that class are much more ambiguous compared to my other classes, and the assignments require more critical thinking.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I doubt I could pick just on favorite moment. In the classroom, my first cut in neuro lab was definitely a highlight. Outside of the classroom, I’ve had so many great memories with the lacrosse team and all the traveling we get to do. I also live for my morning runs along Lake Michigan while the sun is rising. That view is incredible.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I really love the quiet section in the basement of the library. It’s usually so peaceful and there are all those windows that let in a ton of light. Maybe it’s the sunlight that’s my favorite, because when it’s shining through those windows, it’s hard to be mad about having to write multiple lab reports.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I’m surprised at how much free time I don’t have. Between lectures, labs, practice, and studying, I really don’t have as much free time as I thought I would in college.”

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

“If you’re interested in any science-related major, evaluate how well you can manage your time. You’ll essentially be taking twice as many classes as non-science related students because you’ll have lectures in addition to labs — both of which will have their own time-intensive assignments. It’s obviously not impossible, but it definitely requires the discipline to study and the tenacity to constantly be on top of your time management. Also, speaking from experience, don’t try and be super human by taking four labs a semester. Stick with three; it’s much more manageable.”

Why Carthage?