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Exercise and Sport Science

Student Voices

  • Samantha Woodward '20

Sammie Woodward ’20


Franksville, Wis.


Exercise and sport science



Favorite spot on campus

“Other than the Tarble Arena where I get to play my basketball games, my favorite spot on campus is the outdoor tables located outside of the Hedberg Library. This is my favorite spot because it has a beautiful view of Lake Michigan, and it is also a place where you are sure to run into several of your friends walking to class. Every time I sit there to do my homework or enjoy my lunch, I end up running into friends or professors and get to have a good conversation with them.”

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage, I hope to continue my education in exercise physiology/kinesiology. At that time, I will continue working as a personal trainer and work toward becoming a certified strength and conditioning specialist.”

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

Professor Cynthia Allen has had an incredible impact on my time at Carthage. Not only has she been one of my professors, but she is also my advisor as well as my mentor! When it comes to having her as a professor, I think she is one of the smartest and most invested leaders I have ever had. I have truly taken so much away from all of her classes and will continue to use the life lessons she has taught me in my future endeavors. I love to go to Prof. Allen for advice because she has done so many amazing things in her life. She is incredibly smart and I trust her with helping me find what my future career plans will be!”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has been Anatomy and Physiology. This has been my favorite class because I am so interested in how our human body moves and functions. I also loved my professor, Linda Greening.”

Toughest class

“The toughest class I have had at Carthage is Exercise Physiology. This class had a lot of information to digest; however, it got easier as the semester went on and I knew how to study for the information.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I have had three internships so far. My first internship was in the summer of 2018. I spent this summer as a personal training intern at Legacy Gym MKE. During this time, I taught a lot of group fitness classes, directed the youth performance workouts and observed personal training sessions.

“My second internship was during the spring of 2019 at Marquette University. I spent the spring as a strength and conditioning intern with Marquette University athletics and their strength coaches. During this time, I assisted with set up, team workouts, and clean up. I learned so much and felt extremely honored to have this opportunity.

My third internship was at The Prairie School as the strength and conditioning intern. I spent this time creating workout plans and directing athletes through their training sessions. I have had some of the best leaders and role models throughout all of my internships and consider myself extremely blessed to have the opportunities that I have had.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“One of the best opportunities I have had at Carthage is the privilege to play on the women’s basketball team. Being part of a team is something I have always loved, and I am grateful I get this opportunity at Carthage. It’s a great experience to be able to travel and play the game I love with some awesome people!”


“I receive several grants which include the Director’s Grant, Robert Todd Grant, Tri-County Grant, and the Trustee Grant. I also receive Carthage Highest Honors Scholarship.”

Campus involvement

“I am a member of the women’s basketball team at Carthage. This has been an amazing experience for me and has helped me get very involved at Carthage. I am a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which is a great way to stay involved with other sports on campus as well as volunteer throughout the community. I am also a personal trainer in Carthage’s recreation center. I love being able to help students and faculty reach their fitness goals.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“One memory that really sticks out in my head is when some of us athletes played in the Special Olympics basketball game at school. It was such an amazing experience to be a part of this game. Homecomings are always a great time on campus because everyone is out and about and school spirit is so high!”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise I have encountered is how many new people I meet at Carthage every year. When I initially decided to come to Carthage for school, I thought it was going to be so small that I would know everyone I encountered. However, that is far from the truth. Every year I meet new people in classes, clubs, and all around campus.”

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

“My eight-year-old self would say: ‘You like working out that much that you want to make a career out of it?!’ I would explain to my eight-year-old self that a career in strength and conditioning is much more than just ‘working out’ or ‘helping people work out.’ There is a huge personal and social aspect that comes with the career. It’s about helping people reach their goals and motivating them to do better every day. It is a tough career that will not only challenge me but will force me to see a better version of myself every day. I am up for the challenge, and I think my eight-year-old self would be right on board with it.”

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

“I would tell future EXSS students to keep their options open when considering their future career. Freshmen in college often change their mind about what they want to do for the rest of their lives, and that is okay! There are so many career paths that students can take with an EXSS major. All of them are great careers, and I think students should get into the core of their classes before setting their mind on a specific career.”

  • 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.

    • Since 2008, Carthage athletic training students have used the newest diagnostic tools to study concussions. Overseen by a leading brain trauma expert from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the research helps doctors determine when athletes are healthy enough to return.

    • 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

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    • 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.

    • 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.

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    • 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 $22,000 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 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 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 …