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Political Science

Student Voices

  • Dulce Zarinana '20

Dulce Zarinana ’20


Waukegan, Illinois


Political Science


Spanish, Women and Gender Studies

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the track located in the TARC. I enjoy running on the track every day, and it’s a place where I let all of my worries and stress out.”

Career goal

“Once I graduate Carthage, I’m planning on taking a year off and possibly joining the Peace Corps or going to Spain to teach Spanish.”

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

Professor Ellen Hauser has been extremely helpful throughout my Carthage career. I first met her my freshman year when I took her class Introduction to Comparative Politics. That was my first political science class that I ever took, and it convinced me that I was in the right major. Prof. Hauser is also my advisor and is always willing to help me figure out which classes are right for me. She’s been there for me when I start to freak out about not being able to graduate on time, and she just reassures me that everything is going to turn out smoothly. She’s such a caring person, and I enjoy being able to ask for advice whenever I need it.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage has been Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies. It was taught by Professor Maribel Morales Martinez. I loved the context of the class and reflecting on issues I had never thought about. By taking that class, I found a new passion and decided to minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, I enjoyed the class so much that I needed to learn more!”

Toughest class

“My hardest class was Constitutional Law II: Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. This class was extremely difficult for me because it required a lot of independent reading. We read tons of court cases, and went in depth on the holdings and outcomes of the cases. If you didn’t read the court cases, you would be completely lost in class. Overall, I got a good grade in the class, but it required a lot of work.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I’ve interned for former Congressman Robert Dold and Governor Bruce Rauner.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve traveled to Salamanca, Spain for a J-Term study tour to complete some Spanish credits, and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. I got to travel to a country that I’ve always dreamed about going to and also learned more about the language and the culture. I have also traveled to Toronto with Model United Nations for the Northern American Model United Nations conference.”


“I’ve received the Political Science Eric H. Olson and Anna Olson-Thom Scholarship. This scholarship has helped me tremendously to continue my studies at Carthage. I have one working parent, and paying for college can be difficult. With this scholarship, I do not have to worry about the funds for my education.”

Campus involvement

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite memory at Carthage is being invited to dinner at the Trinity House with President Swallow and Governor John Baldacci. It was an honor to be invited and being able to mingle with them and talk about interesting topics going on in the world.”

Biggest surprise so far

“My biggest surprise so far is that I will be able to graduate a semester early. I never thought that it was going to be possible, but so far I’ve been able to accomplish it!”

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

“My 8-year-old self would be so proud of the career path that I’ve decided to take. I’ve always been into activism and human rights.”

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

“Don’t get scared. The classes may seem hard, but the professors will help you and work with you. Work as hard as you can and get involved in all of the political science clubs. Network with people and make lots of friends with other poly si majors because they can help you with your papers and homework!

“Political science has broadened my perspective of world politics. You learn about things you never thought about and use a lot of critical thinking skills, which I believe is good for the long run. You also have amazing professors who strive to make sure your understanding the material. That’s one of the reasons why I enjoy my major so much because the professors are always willing to help and having a department like that means a lot to my overall education.”


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 …