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International Political Economy

Student Voices

  • Shawn Klein '20

Shawn Klein ’20


Elmhurst, Illinois


German, International Political Economy

Favorite spot on campus

“I love being in the traditional dorms. I enjoy being surrounded by the community and always having a chance to make new friends. Many strange yet interesting events have happened to me in the dorms, and it’s that unusual energy that attracts me to being around everyone in the dorm halls.”

Career goal

“I hope to be in some sort of public service. I’m interested in both the United Nations and the federal government, but mostly wherever I can be the most helpful to the public.”

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

Professor Gregory Baer, the Modern Language Department Chair and my German advisor, has helped me tremendously with guiding me on what majors would best fit my skills. He has encouraged and helped me apply for various programs in my field, while always giving me advice on how to better my writing and rhetorical skills. What is true for Baer and I’m sure for all other faculty, is that they become friends rather than just professors or advisers.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class was Christianities of the Global South (REL 2210), taught by Professor Andrea Ng’weshemi. I was introduced to non-Western Christianity and how it can be drastically different than the Anglo-American Christianity we are most exposed to. I wasn’t previously aware just how much Christianity differs in each continent while still holding the basic principles taught in the Bible. While I am not personally religious, I came to appreciate Christianity and its impact in societies throughout the world and how different cultures apply it to their unique lives. Professor Ng’weshemi encouraged a lot of peer discussion and open-mindedness to new viewpoints. I would recommend this to any student interested in Christianity or religion and its impact in other continents.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I took was Intro to Geographical Information Science (GEO 1610), taught by Professor Wenjie Sun. GIS was difficult for me, because I am not very adept with the more complex computer applications, but I feel more comfortable with it now thanks to GIS. Although GIS has a steep learning curve for people like me, you quickly understand its practical use, especially in IPE. It helps you understand how to create basic maps, break down demographic information, and apply statistics into a comprehensive visual format. A tough class, but it is both practical and rewarding.”

Campus involvement

“I am participatory member of Model United Nations and an active fraternity member in Delta Omega Nu. Model U.N is a replica of the United Nations diplomatic and legislative process. I have learned how to better articulate myself in front of committees and write resolution papers, all the while improving the delicate need to be compromising and agreeable with different countries and their policies. It’s not all business though, Model U.N has brilliant and interesting students who like to have fun with the club while maintaining authenticity to the U.N process.”

“Delta Omega Nu is a social fraternity. We participate in philanthropy with Walk MS and raise money through events on campus for donations of our choosing. We support fellow Greek life organizations and promote a positive and moral image of our members. The Dons, as we’re called, have opened me up to meeting people I wouldn’t have expected to meet otherwise, but showing me how unique each of us are while sharing similar qualities and ambitions.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My favorite memories so far have been joining the Delta Omega Nu fraternity and meeting my friends. I appreciate learning about others and what makes them unique. I admire all my friends differently, but each has helped me grow in my understanding and appreciations of others thoughts and ambitions.”

Biggest surprise so far

“How enjoyable WOW Cafe food in the Student Union can be at 1 a.m. on the weekends after intense social rituals.”

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

“Mom and dad will be proud, but happier if I don’t have to move back home afterwards.”

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

“If you have mixed interests in both political science and economics, IPE is like a combination of the two. Because both of these fields are taught within the major, you can better connect and apply both to your own views and the way the world is run. IPE is never boring and it always applies to current events, making you feel so smart that you can evaluate world events and break down why said events happen.”

“International political economy has been, for me, more than just assignments and repeated information. We’ve discussed current issues while learning about historic topics and philosophical thought. We are encouraged to engage and communicate, rather than sit back and only listen. If you want professors interested in your story and thoughtful engagement among your peers, those are a few reasons people should be apart of IPE.”


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’s J-Term offers IPE students opportunities to study business culture in other countries. Recent J-Term study tours have been led by economics, finance, political science, and marketing faculty to such destinations as Sweden, Cuba, Argentina, southern Africa, and Hong Kong.

    • Carthage IPE graduates are working around the globe as computer analysts, financial advisors, investment brokers, international business analysts, mutual fund specialists, and for government and nonprofit organizations. 

    • Popular with IPE students, the student organization Enactus provides students with entrepreneurial experience through community projects. The group’s name borrows from three words: entrepreneurial, action, and us. Enactus has received regional and national recognition.

    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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 …