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International Political Economy

Student Voices

  • Maggie Wixted '18
    Maggie Wixted '18

Margaret Wixted ’18


St. Charles, Illinois


International Political Economy


Economics, Great Ideas

Favorite spot on campus

“I will miss the lake SO MUCH when I graduate this spring! My favorite spot on campus is Kissing Rock, where the landscape falls off into the lake that stretches forever, melting into the horizon. I was pretty freaked out by this as a Freshman, and could not get used to the fact that it looks like we live on the edge of the Earth.”

Maggie Wixted ’18 is one of Carthage’s Presidential Scholarship competition winners. This means that she has room and board paid for, but one of the benefits she most relishes is being able to help interview new candidates for the scholarship. “As a recipient, I also participate in the selection process for future Carthage students competing for Lincoln scholarships. I love helping with interviews every February; it is such a great chance to feel like part of the Carthage community.”

After Carthage, Maggie will be attending law school after she graduates and hopes to practice either family or unemployment law, but while she’s excited for her future, she’s already a bit wistful.

“I wandered onto campus knowing almost no one, and now I can’t imagine life without having my best friends living only a building or two away.”

Career goal

“I will be attending law school after graduation with the goal of practicing unemployment or family law.”

Favorite professor

“I was fortunate to be in Professor Julio Rivera’s statistics class my freshman year. This class gave me a new appreciation and passion for math, by introducing me to a fascinating application for mathematics. Prof. Rivera is not only an engaging professor in the classroom, but a supportive and challenging mentor for students, and no question is too small! It was his class that sparked my interest in working toward an Economics minor, to further explore math as a tool to explain the world.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage was Foundations of Scientific Thought with Professor Brian Schwartz. I took this class to fulfill my non-lab science requirement, and it turned out to be the most fascinating class I’ve taken. Not only is Prof. Schwartz a fun and entertaining professor, but the class itself was fascinating. Prof. Schwartz put together a collection of scientific readings from the Ancients like Plato and Aristotle, all the way up to the discovery of DNA. The chance to read and puzzle through primary scientific texts was challenging and eye-opening, and even fun.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I have taken so far at Carthage was Intermediate Macroeconomics. Maybe it was my (poor) choice to take this class my first year, but it was way harder than anything else I had ever taken. I learned that my study skills needed serious attention. Even though the exams in this class made me feel in over my head, I learned how to study for college assessments, and thanks to actually doing the reading, I was well prepared to rock International Finance the next year. I also learned to accept that challenges are part of life, and that all we can do is try our best and always keep learning”

Opportunities at Carthage

“One of the best things about Carthage is the endless opportunities for enrichment outside of the classroom. As a member of the Carthage Wind Orchestra, I have traveled the country and the world, while enjoying the chance to make music with extremely talented peers. As a Writing Fellow, I have had the opportunity to strengthen my own writing skills, as well as tutor others. This is the most fulfilling job I have ever had. And the best thing about Carthage by far is J-Term. I have participated in study tours to Cuba (2016), Japan (2017), and will be leaving shortly for Peru (2018). The chance to travel with other young people and take advantage of the access to hands-on, immersive learning is priceless.”


“I am fortunate to have received the Rudd Academic Excellence Scholarship through the Lincoln Presidential Scholarship competition. This award means everything to me. Having tuition payments covered has allowed me to pursue meaningful opportunities like private music lessons, Greek life, and J-Term trips. As a recipient, I also participate in the selection process for future Carthage students competing for Lincoln scholarships. I love helping with interviews every February; it is such a great chance to feel like part of the Carthage community.”

Campus involvement

“I am 2017 Vice President of Pi Theta sorority, a Carthage Writing Fellow, and a member of Carthage Wind Orchestra and Pi Sigma Alpha”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“I have endless favorite Carthage memories. From the simple excitement of finding a class that actually feels personally relevant, to meeting my best friends in my sisterhood, to waking up on the other side of the world, ready to explore, there’s nothing like the Carthage experience.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise so far is how much I am going to miss Carthage. I wandered onto campus knowing almost no one, and now I can’t imagine life without having my best friends living only a building or two away. One of the best advantages of a small college is the strong sense of community. When crazy things happen, everyone knows about it, and it feels like the whole school has inside jokes, even though we might not know each other’s names.”

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

“Eight-year-old Maggie thought she wanted to be a brain surgeon, so she might be a little confused by my choices to get an interdisciplinary Liberal Arts degree and become a lawyer. That said, I think I would make my childhood self pretty excited if I told her that some day I would travel the world, have 40+ sisters, and live in such a beautiful place.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“IPE is the perfect combination of policy, economics, and international relations. This is the best program for gaining an understanding of how global relationships are made and broken. IPE provides students with insight on the impact government actors have on individuals, and the impact individuals have on governments”

  • 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. 

    • Carthage’s J-Term offers IPE students opportunities to study business culture in other countries. Recent J-Term study tours have been led by economics, finance, political science, and marketing faculty to such destinations as Sweden, Cuba, Argentina, southern Africa, and Hong Kong.

    • Carthage IPE graduates are working around the globe as computer analysts, financial advisors, investment brokers, international business analysts, mutual fund specialists, and for government and nonprofit organizations. 

    • Popular with IPE students, the student organization Enactus provides students with entrepreneurial experience through community projects. The group’s name borrows from three words: entrepreneurial, action, and us. Enactus has received regional and national recognition.

    • 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 …