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Neuroscience

Student Voices

  • Mackenzie Counard 20 2
    Mackenzie Counard 20 2

Mackenzie Counard ’20

Hometown

Brussels, Wisconsin

Major(s)

Neuroscience, Psychology

Favorite spot on campus

“The grassy area by the Kissing Rock overlooking the lake is my favorite.”

Mackenzie Counard went to a small high school with many individualized learning experiences. She chose Carthage knowing that she would be provided with many of those same benefits: access to unique opportunities, close professor-student relationships, and small class sizes.

Now very involved in the Neuroscience and Psychological Science departments, Mackenzie has used these advantages to participate in undergraduate research, J-Term study tours, and in-depth class discussions.

Specifically, Mackenzie has been able to aid neuroscience professor Daniel Miller in biological and neurological studies as a member of his research team. Through one of Prof. Miller’s classes, the research group assisted with rat surgeries and other intensive projects.

Mackenzie is heavily involved in Greek life on campus and serves as Panhellenic Council vice president. She is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta and Pi Theta.

In the future, Mackenzie hopes to develop a career in neuropsychology, working with various psychological issues, such as PTSD.

Career goal

“I hope to go on to grad school to become a neuropsychologist. With my degree I wish to work with veterans coming home with PTSD and other psychological issues.”

Favorite professor

Dr. Daniel Miller has always been there to answer questions I have had about my future and classes.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage so far is the Neuroscience Research Methods and Statistical Analysis class I am in now. This class has many hands-on learning opportunities, which makes learning harder subjects much more interesting.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I have had at Carthage so far is Cognitive Psychology. This class is very interesting, but it is forcing me to apply what I know to situations instead of just memorizing the information.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I am going on the World War II J-Term study tour this coming June. We are going to visit World War II sites in Russia, Poland, Belarus, and Germany. This has been my dream trip for a while and Carthage has given me the opportunity to go. This is also my first semester as part of a research team.”

Scholarships

“Yes, the Hay Presidential Scholarship. Receiving this scholarship was a great honor. It made me feel like everything I was working toward in my future was finally within reach. The judges recognized everything I had done in and out of high school and that made me feel very proud of all the work I had done. This scholarship made attending Carthage possible!”

Campus involvement

Pi Theta social sorority, former Pi Theta service chair, Pi Theta co-recruitment chair, Vice President of Panhellenic Council, CSS peer coach, and Alpha Lambda Delta member.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“I loved going through formal spring recruitment and finding my home at Carthage.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise so far has been finding friends that I feel like I have known my entire life. It’s hard to believe I have only known them for less than two years.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would be proud I stuck with wanting to work in the medical field. I was always interested in the medical field and didn’t let the many years of schooling and work ahead scare me away.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“I love the neuroscience major! The opportunities it has given me so far are amazing. I am part of a research team with other neuroscience and biology students, and also in a class where I get to do surgery on rats to help Dr. Daniel Miller with his research. Take full advantage off all opportunities your major gives you!”

Writer

Madeline Paakkonen ’21
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage was granted Wisconsin’s first chapter in Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society for neuroscience. 

    • The Neuroscience Department offers one of Carthage’s most popular J-Term study tours: Biodiversity, Brains, and Behavior. In this course, students earn scuba certification, then spend January diving in Honduras to understand the evolution of nervous systems and behavior.

    • New in 2015, the Carthage Science Center features a neuroscience laboratory equipped with rat and mouse colonies, a behavioral data collection room, suites for rodent surgery and histology, and a confocal microscopy lab.

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2019), 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 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. 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 been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running. 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 archaeology 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 75% tuition 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 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 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 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 …

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