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Great Ideas


  • Jennifer Hartig ’19 at graduation

Jennifer Hartig ’19

Class Year



Great Ideas

Current home

Mesa, Arizona

Current position

Sixth and seventh grade Literature and Composition Teacher at Great Hearts

“Take this time to find your passions. Once you find what ignites curiosity within you, pursue this with all you have.”

Jennifer Hartig ’19 believes that students need to pursue their passions in college, just as she did when she was a great ideas major at Carthage. The efforts she put into pursuing her interests earned her three awards with the Great Ideas Department.

Ms. Hartig is able to share her love of great books with her sixth and seventh grade students at Great Hearts; where her and her students read, write, and talk about books from the Western Cannon.

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“What I love most about my career is that I get to help the future generation think deeply about what it means to be human, and in doing so, both my students and I become better, kinder people.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“Studying great books with wonderful students and professors at Carthage definitely influenced the way I think and view the world. Apart from gaining an incredible academic experience as a great ideas major at Carthage, I think being involved in so many organizations on campus has helped prepare me for the intense time commitment and involvement teaching has been.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“Having gone to a liberal arts college has completely changed how I approach problems. When I need to collaborate with fellow teachers on how to best serve a struggling student, I try to use different perspectives to gain a comprehensive understanding of the problem. I think about which strategies may be more effective in certain subject areas and how different implementations may affect the student’s ability to learn.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Take this time to find your passions. Once you find what ignites curiosity within you, pursue this with all you have. Ask for help — especially from professors. Meet with your professors during office hours and get to know them as real people because they can help you pursue what you want with your life after Carthage. Make sure that whatever you decide to do, it fills you with joy and purpose. Oh, right, and have fun with your friends!”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“As a freshman, I found three fellow freshmen (and eventually best friends) in an Intro to Philosophy course, and I remember staying up late together arguing over Plato’s Meno. I loved it. Going to a soup kitchen while I was part of Pi Delta Chi, which has since become Alpha Phi Omega (yay!), is something I’ll always remember. I made life-long friends who love doing service and the occasional spa night! Carthage is merely a place (and yes, a quite beautiful place). I think the people at Carthage shaped me into the person I am today. Finding fellow students who have similar passions and different perspectives has influenced me more than I probably realize. Finding professors who truly want the best for me and challenge me to follow my heart — despite my fear — has inspired me to become a teacher and try to pay it forward.”

  • 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 marketing 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 $22,000 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 …