Chief Deputy County Clerk for Kenosha County
Attending Carthage was an obvious choice for Alyssa Padjen ’21, who grew up in Kenosha, but she also enrolled in the College for so much more than its location. She believes the combination of clubs, professors, internship opportunities, and the tight-knit community solidified her decision.
Ms. Padjen now plays a bigger role in her hometown as the chief deputy county clerk for Kenosha County. Her duties include assisting the county clerk with public passports and marriage licenses; serving the Kenosha County Board by attending meetings and publishing agendas; and working with Kenosha municipal and school clerks to create ballot types, programming, and quantities for printing.
“The skills I attained in my English courses have allowed me to be a well-rounded and creative professional. My professors also unveiled a level of self-confidence in me that has continued to serve me throughout my career.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I am grateful to work in a position where I am constantly learning and being challenged. I enjoyed most learning from the leaders I have had the opportunity to work with. I am also grateful to work in a department that serves the community I grew up in.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“I am extremely grateful for my time in the English and communication departments. The skills I attained in my English courses have allowed me to be a well-rounded and creative professional. My professors also unveiled a level of self-confidence in me that has continued to serve me throughout my career.
“I also give a lot of credit to Kappa Phi Eta; this group allowed me to grow as a leader. I made life-long friends who continue to encourage me to be the best version of myself. I am most thankful for my time serving as the club president and sexual assault awareness chair.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“Carthage values skills that are critical to mitigating problems and managing communications in the workplace. These skills have allowed me to work well with others and assist citizens to the best of my ability. A specific example would be my desire to be patient and kind, and ensure I am providing all with great customer service.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I chose Carthage for it’s location and character. It was very apparent to me growing up in Kenosha County that Carthage is recognized for its strong programs and outstanding staff. I was appreciative of the opportunity to commute from home and stay close to family and hold a year-round job. The small and close-knit community was also appealing to me. And of course, a campus right along Lake Michigan offers an unbeatable environment!”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“Because of Carthage, I was a strong candidate for local internship opportunities. And because I lived in Kenosha, I was able to take an internship position with the City of Kenosha. This would not have been possible if I attended college outside of my hometown. I was also able to continue my internship longer than expected, which led me right into my first full-time position.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“I am very thankful for my time with English professors Alyson Kiesel, Shannon Brennan, and Annette Duncan. All of them encouraged me to work hard and have confidence in myself. I am also grateful for the written and oral communication skills that I obtained in their courses, which have allowed me to present myself as a professional in the workplace.”
Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.
“I was awarded the Altera A&A Scholarship in 2019; this scholarship is awarded to an English major who demonstrates commitment. I graduated with Magna Cum Laude Latin Honors.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“This is a great mission. To me, this encourages the strength to stay open-minded, build self-confidence, and to have the ability to uplift others. This way of thinking allows me to serve as a helpful public resource and to play a role in making Kenosha County a better place.”