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Physics & Astronomy

Alumni

  • Todd Schulter '16
    WO#

Tod Schulter ’16

Class Year

’16

Major(s)

Physics and Mathematics

Current home

Reston, Va.

Current position

Space Systems Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation

Carthage alumnus Tod Schulter is a space systems software engineer at Northrup Grumman Corporation outside Washington D.C, which he believes is the best job of both the spacecraft science and software engineering worlds. In this position, Mr. Schulter develops types of spacecraft simulations, which allows customers to train their spacecraft operators to control the spacecraft when it’s in orbit, and to better understand exactly what it will do in operation. 

Mr. Schulter graduated from Carthage in 2016 with degrees in physics and mathematics. While at Carthage, he was actively involved in many extracurriculars. He was a member of Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society, Alpha Chi Honor Society, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, and was president of the Society of Physics Students.

Mr. Schulter presented at the 2015 and 2016 Celebration of Scholars Research Symposiums and at the 2016 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

He received the Academic Honors Scholarship, the 2016 Carthage College Society of Physics Students Distinguished Service Award, and graduated magna cum laude.

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I’ve enjoyed working with so many other people wholly interested and invested in developing and exploring space. From interning at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to my current position, I’ve met some amazing people who are all just as passionate about space exploration and development as I am, which isn’t something you easily find outside this industry.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“The aspects of my Carthage experience that helped prepare me for this career would be the leadership roles I took while at Carthage. From being president of the Society of Physics Students to helping students as a weekly math tutor, I was able to develop my leadership and professional interaction skills that would go on to help me in my graduate coursework at the University of Michigan, and ultimately, in my career.”

“There were a number of Carthage professors that played a part in my success, helping me learn critical-thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership skills. The relationships I had with these faculty members helped me succeed by giving me great opportunities to grow. 

“Professor Julie Dahlstrom gave me the opportunity to conduct research with her through the SURE program, giving me my first practical space exposure and research experience. Professor Mark Snavely gave me the opportunity to be a math tutor for almost half my time at Carthage. Professor Mark Mahoney gave me my enthusiasm for computer programming, which has driven me to my current role as software engineer.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Don’t get caught up with the small things. Try things you aren’t 100 percent sure about, like being an org president. I wasn’t sure about that before I took the position, but through my experiences, I proved to myself I could be a leader.

“Don’t be afraid to talk to professors when you need help with coursework or anything else. They are more than willing to help in whatever capacity they can, sometimes across disciplines.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“Some of my favorite Carthage memories are from the summer working on my physics SURE project at Yerkes Observatory. Due to Straz construction, all the physics SURE participants got to live on the shore of Lake Geneva and work each day at the observatory, walking in the footsteps of people such as Albert Einstein. Between that and the fun we had in our free time, it was one of the best times I had at Carthage.

“Others include my time as SPS president, and any time I got to help others learn course material and gain a better understanding of core math, physics, and computer science topics.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2020), 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

    • Computer science students watch Prof. Mark Mahoney’s recorded lecturers in their free time, so he can nearby “when they do their real learning,” he says. He has company: Physics professor Brant Carlson’s quantum mechanics video playlist has been viewed more than 170,000 times. 

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    • 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 $20,000 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 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 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 No. 3 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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