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Social Work

Student Voices

  • Kylee Straka '20

Kylee Straka ’20

Hometown

Racine, WI

Major(s)

Social Work

Minor(s)

Psychology

Favorite spot on campus

“The stairs in Straz with the big cushions. As a commuting student, it is nice to have a comfortable place to relax during breaks in classes.”

 

 

Career goal

“After graduating Carthage, I’m not sure what setting I’d like to work in yet, but I’d like to work with children.”

Favorite professor

“I started at Carthage as a psychology major and didn’t actually switch to social work until my sophomore year. I met with my psychology advisor to discuss career goals, and she suggested that I meet with Danielle Geary, a social work professor, to discuss switching majors. During my meeting with Dani, she helped me realize that my true passion is social work. She became my advisor and even helped me get a scholarship for the upcoming school year. She improved the quality of my college life by being an excellent professor and advisor.”

Favorite class

Trauma Across Social Contexts. It is a social work elective course that can be taken by all majors. It was extremely informative and very interesting to learn about how trauma affects brain chemistry and development.”

Internships

Yes! I have had two internships. The first was at Wadewitz Elementary School, shadowing the school social worker. I sat in on meetings with children, parents, and teachers. I also went to staff meetings and helped the social worker with some day-to-day things that she does. This is where I decided that I want to work children. The following semester, I interned at Kenosha Human Development Services in the foster care program. This involved going to home visits at foster homes and meeting with biological parents and social workers with the foster care consultant that I shadowed. Both were very valuable experiences that I enjoyed. This year, I will be participating in a 450-hour intensive field placement at Wadewitz Elementary School. I’ll be able to run my own student groups this time as well as participate in the same things as last time I interned at Wadewitz.”

Scholarships

“I received a Carthage Academic Honors scholarship. Receiving this scholarship was amazing because it has taken a significant amount of financial burden off my shoulders.”

Campus involvement

I was recently accepted to Phi Alpha Social Work Honors Society. I am excited to be involved in an organization specifically for social work majors!”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“During my sophomore year, I helped with freshman orientation which was a lot of fun. I met people on the orientation staff that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and it helped me to feel more connected to Carthage. I was also a student success coach during my sophomore year, so I helped freshmen throughout their first semester to adjust to college life. Finally, I didn’t realize that social work is a very small major. I have made many great friends in my fellow social work majors.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“How fast time has gone. Four years sounds like a long time, but it really isn’t.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would probably be very surprised that I’m not on my way to becoming a veterinarian and had no idea what a social worker was.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Social work is not an easy major or a high-paying profession, but social workers are very important advocates for marginalized groups in society.”

  • 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.

    • 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

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • 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 archaeology 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.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • 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 $20,000 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 the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, 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 …

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