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Great Ideas


  • Jason Lund ’13
    Jason Lund ’13
    Submitted photo

Jason Lund ’13

Class Year



Great Ideas, English

Current home

Waco, TX

Current position

Ph.D Candidate at Baylor University 

Jason Lund ’13 is a graduate student in political science at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He teaches courses on political philosophy and international relations while writing a dissertation on the relationship between natural science and political philosophy in the thought of Plato.

“Honestly, I cannot put into words how grateful I am that I found Carthage.”

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“Teaching! It is such a privilege to converse with students about their understandings of justice and how we ought to live. A classroom produces an intimate space where serious conversations between strangers may lead to friendship and continued conversation.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“I had a chance to pursue research over the summer on John Milton’s Paradise Lost through a Summer Undergraduate Research Experience grant with Dr. Seemee Ali; this showed me how difficult and yet rewarding academic research could be. In addition, the senior thesis projects in Great Ideas and English provided opportunities to push my heart and mind to their outer limits. Because of these opportunities, I was ready to hit the ground running in graduate school. Additionally, the inclusion of a number of discussion-based seminar courses attuned me to be sensitive to how I might be able to get shy students in the classroom to share their valuable insights.”

How has your liberal arts education helped you?

“A liberal arts education isn’t about memorizing facts out of dusty old books; rather, it’s an opportunity to engage in a living, wide-ranging discussion with diverse minds from different times and places. It trains us not to immediately react, but to listen and reflect before we act. This thoughtful reflection about the circumstances we find ourselves in helps us to understand when we should lead and when we should follow the leadership of others. This leads to a kind of flexibility not found in other kinds of education, and one which allowed me to excel both as City Year Detroit corps member for a year and as a graduate student in Texas.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“You have world-class professors at Carthage — don’t take them for granted. If you have a question, go talk to them. Also, take your Western Heritage sequence your freshman year seriously. You may never have such leisure to read and think like you do while you are in college. These books can absolutely change your life — you just have to give them a chance. These books are written for you — they speak to your deepest concerns, and you need them more than you might suspect.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“My favorite memory was meeting the love of my life, my wife, Elizabeth. We met in a Classical Literature class, and our friendship bloomed over discussions of epic poetry, Greek tragedy, and Plato and Nietzsche. After class one day, I said to her, “Don’t you think that Homer was really ahead of his time?” and she rebuked me, saying, “No, Homer isn’t ahead of his time. He is just able to see what is human, and we see ourselves in what he shows us.” What a woman! She is also pursuing a Ph.D. at Baylor in political science; we look forward to a life of learning and love. Honestly, I cannot put into words how grateful I am that I found Carthage. It put me on a path in life better than any I could.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • 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.

    • 96% 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. 95% 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. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016, 2017 and 2018, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience 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 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 our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. 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,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. 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 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. 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.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • 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. 5 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 …