Mary Gargano-Price

Mary Gargano-Price

Class Year



Carol Stream, Ill.


Environmental Sciences (Conservation)


Biology, Geospatial Sciences, English

“Earth sciences, in general, is a growing field of opportunity and pragmatism. So much of our world depends on our ability to conserve and create sustainable lifestyles, making what we do crucial for future generations.”

Mary Gargano-Price, ’23

Career goal

“I aim to work at the Mortum Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. or the Brookfield Zoo in the invertebrates program in Brookfield, Ill. But I’ll also be happy working at a plant nursery or local farm until I save enough money for my own place.” 

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

“The women in charge of my departments have given me nothing but the best of their work. Professor Tracy Gartner and Professor Sarah Rubinfeld, alongside Professor Joy Mast and Professor Angela Dassow, have all been folks I can depend on in times of need, and they create a welcoming atmosphere to learn and grow, both in the classroom and in daily interactions. Professor Alyson Kiesel has also been so kind and is generally one of the best people to converse with.” 

Favorite class

“My favorite has been the Entomology Lab, as well as Forest Ecology. Both were awesome courses and great opportunities to learn a plethora of field experiences. I had the privilege of being hired as the lab assistant for Entomology the following year.” 

Toughest class

“Environmental Chemistry has been my toughest class and lab; chemistry isn’t a strong suit of mine. It was quite challenging getting through the material since I only have a baseline chemistry background.” 

Campus involvement

  • President of Entomology Club
  • President of Gamma Theta Upsilon
  • Vice President of Sigma Tau Delta
  • Secretary of Kappa Alpha Omnicron
  • Senior captain for Carthage Swim and Dive
  • Vice President of intramurals swim club
  • Member of the Horticulture Club, Paleontology Club, CURE, and the Planned Parenthood Generation Action

Internships or on-campus employment

“Currently, I am employed by the Biology Department as a lab assistant for the General Ecology (BIO 3000) Lab. It’s a field-based ecology lab where we have ventured out to Chiwaukee Prairie and Petrifying Springs to study the biodiversity of plant life, insects, and native birds. In addition, I was invited to Prof. Gartner’s Applied Research in Environmental Sciences internship, in which our research team is focused on Kenosha neighborhoods being influenced by socioeconomic disparities such as redlining and access to qualitative utilities. My aspect of research is focused on air quality and access to green spaces, such as parks and nature preserves.” 

Opportunities at Carthage

“I had the opportunity to work as a writing fellow for the Brainard Writing Center from 2020 until 2021. I was able to strengthened my skills as a technical writer and share my skills and teaching in professional writing with other STEM students. I also participated in Wisconsin Wildlife Federation’s Leadership Corps in 2020-21, where other conservation-driven students and previous corps members worked together to enact several proposals into Wisconsin legislation. I had the privilege of working with Shannon Haley from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on a proposal to mandate composting regulations for public schools in Wisconsin.” 


“I am honored to be the recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, which has given me full access to my education and supported me through my athletics.” 

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“During my freshman year, we won the conference championship for swimming, which was insane. We used the Recplex in Pleasant Prairie for our final meet, so there were hundreds of spectators, alumni, and swimmers crowded in the space. The noise and energy are electric. There’s also nothing like wearing a brand-new tech suit for the first time in a race.” 

Favorite spot on campus

“The Koenitzer Aquatic Center, no question. The ecology lab is pretty cool, too.” 

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would be very happy. I’ve always adored pursuing something in science, and the outdoors are so magical. Eight-year-old me would be glad that I’m still playing in the dirt.” 

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

“Earth sciences, in general, is a growing field of opportunity and pragmatism. So much of our world depends on our ability to conserve and create sustainable lifestyles, making what we do crucial for future generations.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage chiefly because of its swim and dive program, as well as the elite team of women running the departments I am a part of.”