Elizabeth Wenzel graduated from Carthage in 2018 with degrees in psychological science and neuroscience, and is a graduate student in the University of Illinois-Chicago’s Behavioral Neuroscience Doctoral Program.
As a graduate student, Ms. Wenzel works with Dr. Pauline Maki, studying the trajectory of depression and anxiety in the pregnant and postpartum population in relation to the gut microbiome. She is a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course, and a graduate assistant for a committee that works toward furthering the career development of women and minority faculty members in UIC’s College of Medicine.
While at Carthage, Ms. Wenzel was very involved in research, which inspired her to pursue her graduate degree and become a researcher. She began her research experience during her second semester at Carthage, working in Professor Leslie Cameron’s lab.
“Being involved in research was the most critical aspect of my undergraduate career that prepared me for graduate school,” Ms. Wenzel said. “I was so lucky to have professors who wanted me to be excited about research, and who gave me so many opportunities to learn through lab experiences.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I love being able to conduct research that allows me to interact with so many new people on a daily basis, especially when I know that the outcomes of this research can benefit mothers in the future.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“I got involved in research during my second semester at Carthage when I joined Professor Leslie Cameron’s lab, and I continued in her lab and others throughout my time at Carthage. Prof. Cameron is definitely the professor who played the largest role in shaping me into a researcher. She always found new opportunities for me to learn through research in her lab, and pushed me to find my strengths.
“[Professors] Denise Cook-Snyder, Tony Barnhart, and Dan Miller are so skilled at helping their students succeed and they truly want their students to succeed. I definitely feel lucky to have formed relationships with these faculty members. Carthage is a place where you can tell that the faculty members really care about their students and about preparing their students for what comes after Carthage.”
Tips for current Carthage students:
“Get involved in research as early as possible! Most professors will be very excited to have a new student join their lab, and the earlier you get involved, the more learning experiences you will have.”
Favorite Carthage memories:
“My favorite Carthage memories are hanging out in Straz and in the lab, enjoying Carthage’s beautiful campus and Lake Michigan, and dancing with my fellow Spirit Team at football and basketball games.”