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Geospatial Science

Student Voices

  • Julia Karpinski '20

Julia Karpinski ’20


La Grange Highlands, Illinois


Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Geoscience

Favorite spot on campus

“Starbucks has always been a great place to meet up with friends or work on homework.”

Career goal

“I hope to work for a company that aims to understand and improve our world through the use of geospatial analysis.”

How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?

“Carthage’s Geospatial Science Department has truly made my college career special. All of the professors have encouraged and supported me throughout my time at Carthage. They have presented me with amazing opportunities that will prepare me for my future career.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class has been Applied Projects in geographic information science (GIS). This advanced course allows students to use their skills for real projects. My team and I worked to create a mobile application for the arboretum on campus. This has been my favorite project completed while at Carthage.”

Toughest class

“Senior Seminar has been my toughest class so far. Working on a project for an extended period of time can become tiring, but I always had my professors’ support. With their feedback, I was able to create something I was truly proud of.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I interned at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago during the summer of 2019. I used ArcGIS Online to map underground infrastructure throughout Cook County, Ill.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“For J-Term 2020, I was able to travel to Ometepe, Nicaragua. This trip meant so much to me as it gave me a different perspective on life. I loved being able to work on water projects around the island while learning about an entire culture.”


“I received the R. William Miller Scholarship. This award meant so much to me as the Geospatial Science Department chooses which students are given this scholarship. It was an amazing reminder that my professors truly believed in me and wanted to see me succeed.”

Campus involvement

“During my freshman year, I joined Kappa Phi Eta, a social service sorority. I am thankful for all the wonderful people this organization has brought into my life. I also gained professional experience as I held the position of secretary for nearly two years.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Receiving my bid from Kappa Phi Eta will always be a special moment for me. I felt so comfortable talking with the girls, and I was so excited to get to know them even better. Over time, they became my family. Every memory I have with them is a good one.”

Biggest surprise so far

“When I started college, I wanted to major in environmental science and biology. When I took my first GIS class, I was intrigued by the subject. In my sophomore year, I changed my major to GIS. Later, I took more geoscience classes and decided to add it as a major. It is one of the best decisions I ever made.”

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

“I have always loved nature and wanted to understand the world, so hopefully, my 8-year-old self would understand why I decided to study GIS and geoscience.”

Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?

“GIS is something that many people are unaware of, but it can be applied to almost everything. Taking the introduction class really opened my eyes to the many ways it can be used in the real world. I recommend the class to everyone.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), 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.

    • Beyond the campus boundaries, dinosaur fossils are prepared at the Carthage Institute of Paleontolgoy in Kenosha. A lengthy pterodactyl flight away, Finca Esperanza serves as a base camp for J-Term medical and water quality missions to Nicaragua. 

    • 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 $25,000 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 in the Top 5 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 …