Héctor Rauda

Héctor Rauda

Class Year



El Salvador


Physics and Mathematics


Computer Science

“I appreciate Carthage’s commitment to fostering a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment. With the opportunities available at Carthage, I am excited to pursue my passion for space science and contribute to the field.”

Héctor Rauda, ’25

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because of its excellent Space Sciences Program and the generous scholarships the College offered me. The program aligns perfectly with my interests in aerospace engineering and astrophysics.”

Faculty mentors

“Carthage faculty are impressive. The faculty in the Mathematics Department and Physics Department have helped me immensely with classes and my future goals. They will help anyone who asks them questions. Developing a good relationship with faculty members has opened my eyes to new opportunities, such as internships and research programs.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far has been Real Analysis. If you like mathematics, Real Analysis is the perfect class for you. Your eyes will open to a new world. In addition, Professor Mark Snavely does a perfect job at explaining all the class content with videos.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class is also my favorite class, Real Analysis. Do not misunderstand me, the class itself is not hard, but the amount of work and effort you have to put into it in order to fulfill homework assignments is incredible; homework assignments are mostly mathematical proofs.”

Campus involvement

“Being part of the Math Club and the Society of Physics Students has been an incredible experience. I attended conferences and met great people in both clubs. They provide a supportive community of like-minded individuals, and I’ve made valuable connections. These clubs have enriched my college journey, deepened my knowledge, and fueled my passion for mathematics and physics.”

Golden opportunities

“I have had two research opportunities so far. The first one was in summer 2022 helping to build a satellite as part of the Space Sciences Program, and the project is still ongoing. I am very thankful to Professor Kevin Crosby for allowing me to participate in the project.

“I am currently doing a second project in mathematical research called ‘Applications of Topological Data Analysis.’ This research examines how noise affects different data types that change over time. It aims to understand the relationship between noisy data and topological noise — temporary patterns in the data that go away when things change. The goal is to develop ways to differentiate meaningful noise for the data’s structure from random noise that does not mean anything. I want to thank Professor Megan Stickler for mentoring me throughout this project.”

Internships or campus employment

“I am fortunate to hold three diverse roles that have allowed me to engage with different aspects of university life and contribute to the campus community. These positions include being a resident assistant, a math and physics tutor, and a student staff member in the Office of Student Life.

“As a resident assistant, I support fellow students within the residence halls. This role has allowed me to foster a welcoming and inclusive living environment, assisting students with their concerns, organizing community-building activities, and ensuring the safety and well-being of everyone in the residence halls. Through this position, I have developed strong leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills while forming meaningful connections with other residents. As a math and physics tutor, I have been able to share my knowledge and passion for these subjects with fellow students. Assisting my peers in understanding complex concepts, working through problem sets, and building their confidence has been incredibly fulfilling. It has reinforced my understanding of the subjects and cultivated my ability to communicate ideas effectively and adapt to different learning styles. Working in the Office of Student Life has given me a unique perspective on the administrative aspects of campus operations.

“Having these three jobs on campus has taught me the importance of time management, prioritization, and adaptability. Moreover, these positions have provided me with invaluable experiences outside of the classroom, helping me develop transferable skills that will be valuable in my future career.”

Career goal

“After graduation, I plan to get a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering or Astrophysics, but I am still deciding. My long-term goal is to work for a space agency such as Space X or NASA.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the seventh floor of The Tower. It has a fantastic lake view and two lobby areas where you can study.”

Favorite memory

“My time at Carthage has been filled with countless cherished moments and memories, many of which revolve around my meaningful connections with friends, my girlfriend, and the broader community. The diverse and vibrant campus community has allowed me to meet people from different backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.

“Engaging in conversations, participating in clubs and organizations, and collaborating on group projects have broadened my horizons and fostered a greater understanding and appreciation of the world around me. Attending conferences and academic events have allowed me to engage with experts in various fields, learn about groundbreaking research, and gain insights into emerging trends and advancements. As I move forward, I am grateful for these cherished memories and their lasting impact on my college journey.”

Advice for other students in your major?

“Mathematics is one of the most beautiful branches of science that could ever exist. It is the language God uses to explain the physical events happening in the world. My advice for people who want to start studying these two beautiful subjects [math and physics] is the same as what God said to Joshua: ‘Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.’”

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

“If my 8-year-old self could see my current studies and career path, he would be filled with awe and excitement. My younger self would be amazed that I am studying complex subjects like mathematics and physics, delving into the mysteries of the universe. He would see me as someone who has embraced his curiosity and love for learning, pursuing fields that involve exploration and problem-solving.”


“I received multiple scholarships. I got the Director’s Grant, the International Student Scholarship, and the Carthage Highest Honors Scholarship. Receiving these scholarships was life-changing for me, and they opened opportunities I never thought I would have had before, such as coming to America and getting to double major in two fields, which I dreamt about since I was a kid.”