Abby Vidruk ?22

Abby Vidruk

Class Year



Janesville, Wisconsin


Political Science


French, Film and New Media

“I owe everything to the Carthage faculty. Their unwavering support and willingness to go above and beyond has helped me grow into the person I am today.”

Abby Vidruk, ’22

Career goal

“I would like to write and direct full-time for Marvel, Pixar, ‘Star Trek,’ or ‘Star Wars.’ Getting a ‘created by’ tag is a goal of mine.”

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

“I owe everything to the Carthage faculty. Their unwavering support and willingness to go above and beyond has helped me grow into the person I am today. I thank professors Ellen Hauser, Christopher Lynch, Jerry Mast, Jon Bruning, Kristina Saldarelli, Eric Hahn, and, above all, Jojin Van Winkle, who has been with me every step of the way and who I know would go to bat for me.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has been Jazz I and II with Prof. Saldarelli. My version of dancing is flailing my arms at the Wii to ‘Just Dance,’ but I decided to take jazz for my second PE credit. I ended up sticking around for a second semester just because I had so much fun! Additionally, it was also incredibly (and surprisingly) educational, deep, and political as we tackled the importance of giving credit where it is due and understanding the true roots of dance, which stems from Africa and slavery. It also paired well with my political science thesis, and the connections I made in that class have continued well after.”

Campus involvement

“I used to be a Mock Trial captain. I learned two things from that experience: I don’t want to be a lawyer and I love writing scripts. So, being part of the team was incredibly useful, even if it wasn’t in the way I’d imagined. I’ve also immensely enjoyed my time playing clarinet in the Carthage Pep Band. Over the years, I’ve just appreciated having the opportunity to dip my toe into lots of different activities and orgs, such as Campus Recreation, Equestrian Club, Pre-Law Club, Horticulture Club, and WERQ.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class is also one of my favorite classes: Advanced 4D. It was a self-designed project class; therefore, it was tough because I made it tough on myself. I set the lofty goal of three narrative short films in one semester, which is insane. I had no budget, spent one month per short film, and filmed eight pages in sometimes as little as six hours. However, I made it through and became a better writer and director. I owe everything to the incredible volunteers who helped make these films a reality.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I have been a writing fellow at the Brainard Writing Center since my freshman year. I have trained — in some way, shape, or form — every fellow in the center except one. So all I have is good, warm, fuzzy feelings as I depart from the position upon graduation. This job has helped my interpersonal, communication, and collaboration skills — as well as curb my ego — immensely, which is essential for my career.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I have had a thesis presentation and a screening of my short films.”


“I received the Hay Scholarship and the Intellectual Foundations contest award. I am beyond grateful for both and for Prof. Lynch for encouraging me to apply for the Intellectual Foundations scholarship.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I love my job at the Writing Center. That has been the highlight of my time here. Just coming to work and getting to talk with my favorite fellows is the best feeling in the world.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I love the rocks by the lake. It is the place I read my first 50+ page assignment for Professor Jeff Roberg my first year and where I painstakingly wrote and rewrote my cover letter for the Writing Center application. It’s also where I go to sit and listen to the lapping water.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise so far is how much I’ve changed.”

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

“She would be 100 percent stoked. And proud — incredibly proud.”

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

“For those going into the entertainment industry (especially above-the-line work), my advice is to wear your heart on your sleeve. You will get hurt; you will fail. That is good; that is expected; that is what makes you better. Just never lose the courage to wear your heart on your sleeve. That is what will make you succeed.”

Why Carthage?

“I liked the professors and wanted individualized attention.”