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Student Voices

Dani Rodriguez ’19


Palatine, Illinois




Political Science and Gender Studies

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the Campbell Student Union. It’s a great place to socialize and study. I find myself spending most of my time there.”

Career goal

“I hope to attend a great graduate school for classics, eventually earn my Ph.D., and become a professor.”

Favorite professor

Professor Joseph McAlhany has had the greatest impact on my Carthage career so far. He was the driving force that pushed me to classics. I am consistently challenged as well as motivated by him.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has absolutely been Western Heritage (COR 1100) with Prof. Dave Gartner. With it being a required course there was a wide variety of students together which may usually not be otherwise due to their majors. This fostered healthy discussion, and the ability to understand the text we were reading on another level.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was Ancient Greece II: Alexander the Great to Cleopatra (CLS 1040), where I was introduced to the history of classical world and I struggled incredibly with separating the mythology from actual historical events. However, it did enlighten me on the importance of a well-rounded education. Knowing the history of the era the books I was reading were written in greatly impacted the interpretation of the text.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I worked with Prof. Ben DeSmidt on the Humanities Citizenship Initiative this past summer under the SURE program. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and it just solidified my desire to teach classics.”


“I have received a number of grants and scholarships, the greatest being the Springfield Scholarship. These were the awards that allowed me to attend Carthage. Winning these awards led me to a school that constantly challenges, made me rethink what I valued in my future, and ultimately brought me to classics and the career path I am currently on. I am eternally grateful.”

Campus involvement

“I am the secretary for Student Government and I am a member of the social service sorority Kappa Phi Eta.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“One of my favorites is absolutely orientation! Both when I was a freshmen and an OL. Everything that we went through and everyone we met definitely set the tone for my Carthage career and it was just as amazing helping others experience that sense of belonging as well!”

Biggest surprise so far?

“My biggest surprise so far is how much I have grown to love this school. I know that if I had attended another institution I would not be nearly as happy, or be making as big of a difference. I would never want to go anywhere else.”

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

“Eight-year-old me would be shocked I am no longer planning to be a lawyer. I may not have completely understood what it took back then, but I sure loved to argue!”

Advice for other students considering your major

“You can do it! I know the history, mythology, literature, philosophy, culture, and languages can seem overwhelming at first, but it genuinely pays off to be able to be one step closer to understanding the world people lived in back then!”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. More than 90% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $20,000 up to full tuition. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 3 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …