Skip to main content

Psychological Science

Student Voices

  • Holly Pelnar ’21
    Holly Pelnar ’21

Holly Pelnar ’21

Hometown

Tinley Park, Illinois

Major(s)

Psychology

Minor(s)

Sociology

Favorite spot on campus

Hedberg Library is my favorite spot on campus. I love being able to find a comfy chair or private study room to do homework or relax between classes.”

Holly Pelnar chose Carthage for the inclusive community and close professor-student relationships that are formed here. She has since prospered in the Psychological Science Department and has completed research alongside her professors through Carthage’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience.

“The biggest surprise for me was getting involved in research. I was so nervous and had no idea what to expect when I first started, but thanks to the support of some amazing professors, I love what I am doing in the lab.”

After graduation, Holy is hoping for a career in school psychology. She encourages potential psychology students to consider that major for its great faculty members and opportunities. “Go for it!” 

Career goal

“I hope to become a school psychologist and help elementary school children of all abilities reach their full potential.”

Favorite professor

“While doing research, I had the privilege of working closely with professors Leslie Cameron and Anthony Barnhart. They were both fun to work with and taught me a lot!”

Favorite class

Psychology of Women and Gender (PYC 3460) was my favorite because we had such interesting discussions that impacted the way I think.”

Toughest class

“Though it was one of my favorites, Child and Adolescent Development was my toughest class at Carthage so far. The class covers a great deal of information but is worth the effort.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I started doing research under the SURE Program, Sumer Undergraduate Research Experience in the summer of 2018. It was such an incredible opportunity and I am very grateful that I had the chance to do it.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“Some of my fondest memories have been made here at Carthage eating meals with my friends in the Caf.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise for me was getting involved in research. I was so nervous and had no idea what to expect when I first started, but thanks to the support of some amazing professors, I love what I am doing in the lab.”

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

“I think I would be shocked. When I was younger, I was so indecisive about what I wanted to do. I have never been so sure about my choice until now.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Go for it! Even if you do not stick with a career in psychology, having a background in psychology is relevant and helpful in many other fields. Psychology is such a broad field. There are so many careers that it could lead into.”

Writer

Madeline Paakkonen ’21
  • 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

    • Winner of four national magic competitions, psychological science professor Tony Barnhart often performs rope tricks, coin tricks, and card tricks in class to demonstrate the psychological principle of inattentional blindness. “You know exactly what’s happening, and you still fall for it every time,” says Alison Mackey ’17.

    • 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 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 …

    Previous
    Next