Iris Toney

Iris Toney

Class Year



Highlands Ranch, Colorado





Iris Toney ’25 was drawn to Carthage by the small class sizes and beautiful lake views. Iris has found value in the challenge their engineering major presents and excelled in their position of team lead for Carthage’s inaugural First Nations Launch team. 

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“I think that the combination of a very rigorous engineering core and Carthage’s liberal arts curriculum work together to create engineers who are not only well versed in math and science, but who also have a broader range of knowledge and a larger skill set than your average engineer.”

Iris Toney, ’25

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because it was a place I felt I could succeed after a rough few years in high school due to COVID-19. After taking online classes in which I felt little to no connection to my teachers and seeing how much that negatively impacted me, it became clear that having 400-person lectures would not work for me and that I needed a smaller school environment. After visiting campus and speaking with professors, I felt confident that I would not feel forgotten or unimportant here. I also fell in love with the idea of seeing Lake Michigan every day as a girl from Colorado, where our biggest lakes can’t begin to compare to the practical ocean right on campus.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class I have taken so far at Carthage has to have been Statics with Professor Kathryn Hasz. I liked this class because it applied all of the concepts that I had been learning in physics classes up to this point and gave real-world uses for them. I loved getting to see more of what engineers actually do, and it gave me a sense of whether or not I was in the right major. Based on the fact that it is my favorite class I’ve taken, I think I’m in the right place.”

Toughest class

“I think the hardest class I have taken at Carthage was my General Physics II class. This class focused on electricity and magnetism, two forces that are hard to think about in a concerted way since they aren’t visible to the naked eye.”

Golden opportunities

“At Carthage, I have had many unique opportunities. The most interesting and impactful opportunity has been being the team lead for Carthage’s inaugural First Nations Launch team. Through this, I was able to lead the team through the process of learning about, modeling, constructing, presenting, and launching a rocket that went up 2,800 feet. Through this, we practiced the engineering process, working with teams and other departments, and presenting confidently on what we’ve done. I have also been able to get involved with the space science program, specifically working on using fiber optic sensing systems to measure the amount of fuel in a tank under zero gravity conditions.”

Internships or campus employment

“I acted as the First Nations Launch Intern, working with the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium to ensure that the First Nations Launch Competition was able to happen. First Nation Launch is a program that helps teams of Native American students from across the world to ensure their inclusion in science and engineering as a whole through a fun and supportive high-powered rocket competition.”

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage, I hope to become an engineer. I want to solve real-world problems using innovative solutions based on math, science, and data. I don’t know what field of engineering or what industry I want to go into, but I do know that engineering is a path that combines my passion for math and science with doing good in the world.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is a tie. One is walking up and down the shore of Lake Michigan, especially after a long or stressful day. The best stress reliever I have found is throwing rocks into the lake with friends while talking about what’s on my mind. My other favorite place is within the Hedberg Library. It is by the chair closest to the painting of geese taking off from a river titled ‘Wings over the Horicon.’ I love the painting when I sit there; I feel like I can’t help but find a book on the shelf that catches my interest enough for me to pick it up and read it.”

Advice for other students in your major?

“My advice for any student considering the engineering program is to not give up. The classes are hard, but I believe that you can do it. Through the help of my peers and professors, no class has kept me from continuing my degree, even if I didn’t pass it the first time around.”