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Criminal Justice

Student Voices

  • Olivia Monson 20

Olivia Monson ’20


Bartlett, Illinois


Criminal Justice and Spanish

Favorite spot on campus

“I love studying down by the lake when it is warm enough. It helps ease stress and helps me refocus.”

Career goal

“I want to be an FBI agent investigating federal crimes!”

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

Professor Matthew Zorn has made my non-lab and lab science classes, Natural Disasters and Climatology, so much fun and so interesting! His personality and jokes make the material so much more enjoyable to learn than I thought it would be.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class was my criminology class because I love learning about the reasons why people commit crimes and about criminal psychology.”

Toughest class

“Constitutional Law II has been a tough class. The course includes a good amount of work — with learning professional legal language and the evolution of legal standards.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I am an intern at the Kenosha County Medical Examiner’s Office. I assist in day-to-day operations at the office, help with external body examinations, respond to death scenes, help with death investigations, and communicate with medical facilities and families. It has been an amazing opportunity that has helped me develop in many ways as I work towards becoming a professional in the criminal justice field.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I went on a J-Term study tour to Salamanca, Spain — a city outside of Madrid. I have studied Spanish for eight years, and it was eye-opening to fully immerse myself in the Spanish culture, as well as take classes at the prestigious Universidad de Salamanca alongside my Carthage friends.”

Campus involvement

“I am the vice president of language honors fraternity Alpha Mu Gamma, a member of service sorority Pi Delta Chi, and a member of Catholics at Carthage. I am also a lifeguard in the pool, as well as a Spanish tutor.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite memory was hands down the experience I had with my friends in Spain. We completely embraced the culture, made local friends, explored the city and surrounding area, and learned about a completely different way of life. I am so excited to return to Spain for a full semester this fall.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise so far has been the friends I’ve made! They continue to be genuine and kind on a daily basis. I’m so grateful that Carthage gave me the ability to form such strong friendships.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would be proud of my current studies and career goals!”

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

“Think to yourself: Am I passionate about helping others? Do I want to make a difference in the community? Do I love interacting and communicating with people? If so, the Criminal Justice major is a good choice for you.

“Criminal justice is a very intriguing major that makes you think about the social, psychological, physical, and criminal changes and impacts that develop because of events that happen in our very own communities.”


Madeline Paakkonen ’21
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • 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.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 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. More than 90% 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. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing 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 more than 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 students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. 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,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. 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.

    • 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 in the Top 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 …