Suresh Graf

Class Year



Shakopee, Minn.





Suresh Graf ’15 has wanted to be a doctor since fifth grade, so he was sold on attending Carthage after hearing about the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua on a medical mission trip. The annual J-Term trip takes 20 to 40 students to Ometepe, Nicaragua, to study tropical ecology, visit historical sites, and volunteer in rural medical clinics. “When I saw the impact Carthage students were having in a foreign country, it really spurred me to want to be that student making a difference,” said Suresh. 

Suresh was selected to go on the 2013 Nicaragua trip, and he said that it gave him a new perspective on the world and what he wants to do after Carthage.

“After attending medical school, I would like to open a clinic in Nicaragua that is built as a long-term facility and helps to educate locals on how to maintain general health,” he explained. 

The opportunities Suresh has had since attending Carthage have been plentiful. This summer he will conduct research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., with Dr. Rita Basu in the endocrinology department. He hopes that this research experience will help facilitate new ideas on the front lines or pancreatic research.   

From helping Suresh prepare for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to providing many opportunities to get involved with academic organizations, Suresh feels that Carthage is definitely preparing him for his future. “Carthage is a great place to grow in this community and as an individual.”  

“When I saw the impact Carthage students were having in a foreign country, it really spurred me to want to be that student making a difference.”

Suresh Graf, ’15

Career goal

“To become a doctor and help those who suffer. My goal as of now is to become an orthopedic surgeon.”

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

“I don’t know if I really have a favorite professor so far. All of my professors have been very helpful and influential. However, if I had to pick one who really stands above the rest it would be Dr. Elaine Radwanski of the Biology Department. She is a very enthusiastic professor made class work challenging and fun at the same time. It is hard to not get excited about biology when Dr. ‘Rad’ is teaching. She unknowingly converted me from a chemistry major to a biology major simply by her overall enthusiasm for the course Cell and Molecular Biology.”

Favorite class

“I believe my favorite class so far at Carthage is Genetics. It proves to be a great challenge at times, however the challenge is always rewarded with the knowledge and understanding of a small process which impacts our lives in a huge way. I believe I have the most ‘A-Ha!’ moments in Genetics than in any other class that I have taken.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved with several on-campus organizations, including Chemistry ClubPre-Health ClubCarthage World Relief, and Gospel Messengers. I am the newly elected outreach coordinator for Chemistry Club, the Resident Assistant in the basement of Johnson Hall, and the bassist for the Gospel Messengers. I really love doing science for fun and showing people that science is fun and interesting. I am also involved quite heavily in music on campus. While I am not a music major or minor, I really love to play bass guitar with my friends and with different groups at school.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class that I have taken so far has been Physics. While it’s something that we experience every day and it’s the only science where an exception to the rule would result in the world falling apart (a generalization of course), it is a subject in which I seem to struggle. Though it is a struggle for me, there are plenty of resources at my disposal to get help and understand it. By attending Supplemental Instruction sessions and meeting with the professor, it becomes possible to struggle a bit less.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite moment at Carthage is a moment that didn’t actually take place at Carthage. It was when my J-Term class was at the airport getting ready to check in and go through security to go to Nicaragua. Something clicked in my mind that I was actually going to Nicaragua! It made me realize how many opportunities I have been presented with in my time here at Carthage, and how much I am able to do that my friends at other schools are not able to participate in.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is in the Campbell Student Union by the fireplace, on one of the big red chairs that look like red blood cells. The chairs are incredibly comfortable and the fire is nice and warm. It is a great place to get stuff done or just to sit and chill.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise at Carthage so far was definitely the wind! When I visited campus I must have visited on the only not-windy day in the history of Carthage. The wind while walking down Campus Drive is so incredibly powerful. I have lost much body heat, and a few papers, to it.”

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

“Pay attention in all of your classes. By that I mean biology classes, but also physics, chemistry, and even religion! You will find ties between everything. The more connections you can make between subjects, the easier it will be to understand complex subjects and ideas. If you don’t believe me, I wish you good luck!”