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Exercise and Sport Science

Student Voices

  • Austin West '19
    Austin West '19

Austin West ’19


Darien, Illinois


Exercise and Sport Science, Management and Marketing

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot is just outside of the David A. Straz jr., Center where you can sit and study with an amazing view of Lake Michigan.”

With an in-depth internship at sports training facility Get Fast, Carthage junior and Presidential Scholar Austin West is looking forward to a future managing his own facility. As a triple major in exercise and sport science, management, and marketing, Austin has been able to work closely with professors and fellow students to expand his knowledge of business and the marketing world.

Outside of the classroom, Austin is involved in Greek life, as he is a member of Delta Upsilon, and he is heading to South Africa for an upcoming J-Term study tour.

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage, I hope to be the owner and operator of my own training facility. The primary focus of the training facility will be to assist middle school-through college-level athletes to improve their skills within their respective sports.”

Favorite professor

“I was lucky enough to be in Intro to Business with Dr. Jennifer Madden my first semester of sophomore year. The one-on-one connection she had with her students, and her ability to engage and really push her students to do more than just the minimum level of work, was amazing. One day, she pulled me to the side and said, ‘You’re a brilliant student. Why do you sit in the back?’ That moment started a whole conversation and soon after, I asked her to be my adviser. Her guidance didn’t stop there. She has helped me as a resident assistant by coming and talking to my residents. She has pushed me to expand my horizons with discussion about continuing my education to study physical therapy at graduate school. This upcoming J-Term, I plan to accompany her group on the study tour to South Africa, where we will have the opportunity to study business abroad.”

Favorite class

“So far, my favorite class at Carthage has been Marketing with Professor Julio Rivera. In this class, I learned how to design and create my own business plan while also developing strategies to attract and bring in more customers.”

Toughest class

“Ironically, my toughest class thus far has been Applied Statistics, also taught by Professor Julio Rivera. Professor Julio challenged us while simultaneously assisting us in the mastery of complicated concepts.”


“I am currently interning as a personal trainer. During this internship, my responsibilities include working with individual athletes and conducting group training sessions. At the Get Fast facility, I am developing skills to assist athletes in improving and maintaining proper form and developing knowledge of the human body. I am also receiving guidance from the owner on how to establish and manage a training facility.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“While at Carthage, I have partaken in many amazing opportunities. Throughout my sophomore year, I fulfilled a role as one of the Resident Assistants. During my junior year, I will be fulfilling one of the positions for Assistant Hall Director. Since arriving here at Carthage, I have also joined a fraternity and am now an active member of Delta Upsilon. This opportunity has been one of the best overall experiences I have received since arriving at Carthage. I am continually engaged in classes, my fraternity, and in my role as Assistant Hall Director. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”


“It is my honor to be the recipient of a Presidential Scholarship. This scholarship has allowed me to attend Carthage and focus solely on my development as a student in order to become a contributing member of the Carthage community. This scholarship means the world to me and I will be forever grateful to the family that sponsors this opportunity.”

Campus involvement

“I am a member of the fraternity Delta Upsilon. As an organization, we host student events, fundraisers for Global Service Initiative, and focus on brotherhood and philanthropy.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“Some of my favorite Carthage moments consist of meeting new people, developing friendships, passing my final exam to become an active Delta Upsilon member, and successfully completing the interview process as a Resident Assistant and Assistant Hall Director. In addition to these favorite moments and memories are the professional relationships that I have developed with several of my professors, including Professor Jennifer Madden and Professor Tony Pustina.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise so far has been the changes that I have experienced in my life. I never would have seen myself becoming an Assistant Hall Director or joining a fraternity. Everyone whom I have met has encouraged me to reach my potential.”

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

“As an 8-year-old, I was fascinated by the sea and other bodies of water. I originally wanted to become a marine biologist but since then, with my amazing experience at Get Fast, I want to one day mimic Get Fast and design my own version of it. My 8-year-old self would probably be laughing at the fact that I now enjoy working out and want to do that for the rest of my life.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“I would let anyone interested in my major know that the opportunities within the business field are endless. It allows you to create and design your own life or work for others to help create and maintain many types of businesses. Never be scared to do what you want and what you believe is right. I have had many changes in my life since I was 8, and I never expected to become a business major or exercise and sport science major.”

“Congrats to anyone on their way to Carthage, and good luck to those applying or searching for schools. Carthage is not just a college, it’s a place you can call home.”


Madeline Paakkonen ’21
  • 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.

    • Since 2008, Carthage athletic training students have used the newest diagnostic tools to study concussions. Overseen by a leading brain trauma expert from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the research helps doctors determine when athletes are healthy enough to return.

    • 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 …