Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
Summer Zilisch

Summer Zilisch

Class Year



Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin


Neuroscience, Psychology



Summer Zilisch ’26 is a double major in neuroscience and psychology, with a minor in chemistry. She loves the range of opportunities that Carthage has offered her, whether they are research-related or social events on campus. Her involvement has allowed for her to make new friends and grow on a personal and academic level. 

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“I chose Carthage because of its exceptional academic programs, supportive community, and commitment to fostering growth. The College’s reputation for personalized education aligns perfectly with my aspiration to excel as a double major/minor student.” 

Summer Zilisch, ’26

Why Carthage?

“Carthage’s strong emphasis on research and experiential learning opportunities resonated with my desire to immerse myself in hands-on scientific exploration. The inclusive and collaborative environment empowers me to continue my passion for helping others and making a meaningful impact on campus and beyond.”

Faculty mentors

“The Carthage faculty have played an instrumental role in shaping both my academic journey and personal growth. Their expertise, guidance, and unwavering support have been invaluable. The relationships I’ve built with faculty members have opened doors to research opportunities, mentorship, and a deeper understanding of my chosen fields. These connections have not only expanded my knowledge, but also provided me with a network of mentors who genuinely care about my success. Their encouragement has empowered me to pursue ambitious goals and to balance academic pursuits with extracurricular activities, work, and volunteering. Carthage’s faculty truly exemplify dedication to students’ growth and development, and I’m grateful for their ongoing impact on my life and career.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage has been my Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies class. While my major is in science, this class has profoundly impacted my perspective. The engaging discussions and thought-provoking content have opened my eyes to important societal issues and fostered a deeper understanding of gender dynamics. It’s been a valuable experience that has enriched my academic journey and expanded my horizons beyond my science-focused studies.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage so far has been in biology. The subject matter is complex and requires a deep understanding of intricate processes within living organisms. However, the challenge has been incredibly rewarding. Through hard work, perseverance, and the support of my professors and peers, I’ve overcome the difficulties and developed a strong foundation in biology.”

Internships or campus employment

“I had the incredible opportunity to complete a three-month internship at the Laboratory of Genetics and Genomics through the National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Aging at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland. During this internship, I conducted research on the impact of starvation-induced ribosome collisions in HeLa cells. This experience allowed me to apply my scientific knowledge in a real-world setting, working with cutting-edge technology and collaborating with experts in the field. It solidified my passion for research and provided invaluable insights into the intricate world of genetics and genomics.”

Career goal

“After graduating from Carthage, I want to pursue a dual MD/Ph.D. program, integrating my passion for medicine with my love for research. I envision myself contributing to cutting-edge medical advancements and bridging the gap between scientific discoveries and patient care. Ultimately, I aspire to become a physician-scientist dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes and addressing health disparities. I plan to continue volunteering in my community and spreading kindness wherever possible! We live in such a beautiful world!”

Favorite spot on campus

“Without a doubt, one of my favorite spots on campus is the spacious room in the David A. Starz, Jr. Center. It’s a cozy haven where you can relax on the comfortable mats lining the stairs. This inviting space has become my go-to spot to unwind after classes, catch up with friends, study, enjoy a meal, charge my devices, and simply soak in the campus atmosphere.”

Favorite memory

“My time at Carthage has been filled with unforgettable moments that have truly shaped my college experience. Whether it’s the lively bingo nights hosted by the College, taking a refreshing swim in the scenic lake, or the tradition of staying up late during finals to enjoy a midnight breakfast, each of these moments has added a unique and special touch to my time here. However, what truly stands out are the friendships I’ve forged along the way. Meeting my closest friends at Carthage has been a defining part of my journey, and our adventures together, from buying flights to Colorado during fall break to sleepovers and movie nights, have made my college years truly exceptional.”

Advice for other students in your major?

“Students should recognize the endless possibilities it offers for understanding and transforming the world around us. My advice for fellow students is to embrace the challenges and opportunities of a multidisciplinary approach, as it opens doors to innovation and empowers you to contribute positively to society. Also, remember that dedication, time management, and seeking support when needed are key to thriving in a rigorous academic journey.”