Martha (Peterson) Collins

Class Year



East Moline, Ill.


Communication and French


Public Relations

Martha Peterson decided to study French at a young age, “When I was 8, I knew two people from Togo who spoke French and it was then that I decided I wanted to learn French,” she said. Her decision to double major in communication has helped her broaden her career options. “The skills I’m learning are helping to refine me as a person. That will shape what type of employee I am, wherever that may be one day.”

Martha is involved in several organizations on campus, including InterVarsity Christian FellowshipCUMBYA, the women’s tennis team, Pep BandUltimate Frisbee Club, and Carthage Swing Society. She has also studied abroad for her French major.

“Carthage had everything I was looking for. A French major, a tennis team, study abroad options, beautiful scenery, and a strong variety of other majors and organizations to tap into.”

Martha (Peterson) Collins, ’16

Career goal

“I hope to find a job where I am able to help people, specifically children, while speaking French. Maybe that means teaching French, maybe that means teaching English to French kids. Maybe I’ll be selling products to companies in French Canada.”

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

Pascal Rollet has had a big impact on my life at Carthage so far. Since I am a double major, he has helped me figure out that half of my studies.”

Favorite class

“I really enjoyed Introduction to Visual Communication. It was the first artistic class I have taken, and from that class I have learned to appreciate images in media a lot more.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. I am part of a small group and I led a small group my sophomore year. I am also in CUMBYA, which is a club that facilitates lock-ins for Kenosha and Racine area church youth groups. I play on the junior varsity tennis team, I am in the Pep Band, I met my boyfriend on the Ultimate Frisbee Club two years ago, and I get to Carthage Swing Society when I can.”

Toughest class

“I took Biblical Images of Christ for my second religion requirement because it sounded like we would be discussing Jesus. We did do that, but in a way that kicked my butt. I learned a lot, and in the end, it did help me grow in my faith. However, that class was way over my head most of the time.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“This past summer I was the administrative intern for a small nonprofit organization called the Spring Forward Learning Center (SFLC) in Rock Island, Ill. SFLC provides free after-school tutoring programs and summer learning loss prevention camps. I was in charge of the social media network, writing the newsletter, and processing the test score data. It was a great opportunity to see into the world of nonprofits and to help support the kids of my home area.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Being a French major means I am required to study abroad, and that is one requirement I would never complain about because I got to study in Grenoble, France, and it was amazing!”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I work in the Office of Student Life and one day, Jason Ramirez (Dean of Students) told me I was a nice person. That was a good day.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I really love Denhart Hall. I lived there my first two years here, and it’s home. There’s so much fun that happens in Denhart.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise has been that some of my hardest classes have been the general education requirements, and even more surprising is the fact that I love what I’ve learned in those classes.”

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

“When I was 8, I knew two people from Togo who spoke French and it was then that I decided I wanted to learn French. I also never stopped talking, so a combination of French and communications as a field of study would not have surprised 8-year-old Martha.”

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

“Go for it! But you should pair it with something. Carthage does such a good job of working out schedules that it’s kind of just silly to have one major and that’s it.”