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Social Work

Student Voices

  • Kylee Straka '20

Kylee Straka ’20


Racine, WI


Social Work



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.”


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.”


“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.

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    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
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    • 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.

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    • 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.

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    • 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 …