Diego Alessandro Castañeda
Diego Alessandro Castañeda
Beach Park, Illinois
Diego Alessandro Castañeda ’25 found his home away from home at Carthage. He formed close relationships with his peers by joining clubs and participating in activities in the Kenosha area. He also gives credit to the College’s faculty and staff for supporting him and motivating him as he pursues his chemistry degree.
“The Chemistry Department at Carthage is a tight-knit community; I’ve even seen some of my friends who have already graduated stay connected with us.”
“When I was searching for colleges, the first major wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had went over us. Because of this, I realized that some of my biggest priorities were being close to home and being close to my circle of support. Carthage advertised a great path for incoming students interested in chemistry, taking students all the way from the basics to courses that provide transferable skills to be used beyond college, all while providing opportunities for hands-on research in several fields. Additionally, Carthage is located only half an hour north of where I live in Illinois, allowing me to commute between college and home, and making my undergraduate plan substantially more affordable.”
“Many of the professors who teach classes I have taken have made it apparent that they are happy to support us students however they can! The professors have been down to earth and are easy to talk to. Through building close relationships with several faculty and staff members at Carthage, I have quenched my fear of asking for help; there is always support available at Carthage.”
“My favorite class at Carthage so far is also one of the most arduous classes that a student majoring in chemistry, biology, environmental science, or neuroscience can take: Organic Chemistry. I had Professor Susan Stevenson for both semesters of this course, and I am so glad I had her as my professor. During lectures, Prof. Stevenson gave us students opportunities to test our knowledge with lots of practice questions; if a student answered incorrectly or showed that they were confused, Prof. Stevenson never judged them and instead knew just how to talk them through the correct mindset to solve a problem. She also hosted office hours on a regular basis, during which we could talk with her about anything from homework help to exam prep to guidance regarding our career paths! Furthermore, I quickly learned how to succeed in this course and thus set aside time when I could to provide some assistance to peers in need. Completing both semesters of Organic Chemistry solidified my confidence in being a chemistry major!”
“I am involved in a few campus organizations, such as the Carthage Activities Board (CAB), Mi Gente, Tea Club, Chemistry Club, and Theta Chi Delta (our campus’s honorary chemistry fraternity that I have recently been inducted into). CAB is one of the largest organizations on campus; we are responsible for planning and executing multiple on-campus events, from live performances to Bingo/trivia nights, DIY crafts, and open mic events. In Mi Gente, we foster a community in which Hispanic/Latinx culture is celebrated and shared. I am the vice president of Tea Club; we socialize while sampling a different tea each meeting. As a lover of tea, I am very happy to be in charge of this organization.
“But a lot of my extracurricular involvement on campus comes from me engaging in events hosted by other organizations. There are many fundraising events where you can get neat things and give some money to a worthy cause. Some organizations move activities off campus and bring them into the Kenosha area. One of my favorite events is the annual Rock Out for Autism event hosted by the Kappa Phi Eta sorority at the Kenosha Creative Space. Participants can perform open mic-style and support the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin! I always have a good time when I perform there.”
Favorite spot on campus
“My favorite spot on campus has to be the lawn overlooking Lake Michigan where the Kissing Rock sits. Whenever I’m walking up campus to head to an early morning class in the David A. Straz Jr. Center, I stop and appreciate the gorgeous sunrise there. When the weather is clear, chilling in one of those big, red lawn chairs while taking in that amazing view of the lake is therapeutic to me. The Kissing Rock is cool, too, with its ever-changing paint coating thanks to clubs and organizations advertising themselves and their events throughout the school year.”
Advice for other students in your major?
“Find study buddies to meet up with on a regular basis; never be afraid to reach out for academic, social, or mental help; take detailed notes in class and review those notes habitually; and most importantly, don’t get discouraged if your first plan doesn’t work.”