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  • Alyssa Abraham '08

Alyssa Abraham ’08

Class Year



Studio Art


Graphic Design

Current home

Algonquin, Illinois

Current position

Instructional Design Strategist at Computer Generated Solutions, Inc.

Alyssa Abraham ’08 is an instructional design strategist at Computer Generated Solutions, Inc., where she designs training courses and programs for some of the world’s largest companies using cutting-edge technology.

Ms. Abraham credits her professors for inspiring her to create training courses that are both educational and engaging. 

“My design professors, Jose Montoto, Alane Spinney, and Laura Hauracha taught me to have fun with design. I use this passion for fun when I design courses that are meant to activate learning in the trainee.”

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“My experience as an art historian focusing on corporate identity has played a big role in researching the corporate culture and expression of my clients. I am able to write courses that speak to their employees on a level that inspires the positive development of their corporate culture.

“One thing I truly appreciate about my career is that I am helping people build confidence on the job. When employees feel confident about their job, they do great work, have more opportunities, and bring more success to the companies they work for.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“I routinely use my background in graphic design and studio art to power the creativity I need to design unexpected and effective training.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“My aunt went to Carthage in the 1970s! I also met Professor Ed Kalke on one of my campus tours and knew I needed to learn from him. He was a role model and inspiration.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“The J-Term trip to Greece sparked my passion for history and travel. Before I even returned home from that trip, I began researching study abroad programs. In fall 2007, I spent the semester in Florence, Italy. That’s what led me into art history.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“Critical thinking skills definitely play a big role in my career, as well as the visual acuity and critical visual analysis I learned in my art classes. Mainly, the high standards my professors held me to have taught me to settle for nothing less than excellence. I believe this has made my life more successful overall.”

What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?

“Professor Carolyn Hudson taught me to write without inserting any nonsense. Professor Christian von Dehsen inspired me on my first day in my first class to be present, work hard, and follow the syllabus. Professor Pamela Smiley was, to me, an absolute beacon of female empowerment. Her commitment to excellence has never left my mind. Professor Sandra Bisciglia provided me with a seismic shift in my thinking about religious history, women, and life in its totality and has remained a constant source of support and love.

“My art professors, Diane Levesque, Ed Kalke, Kim Greene, and Anne Cassidy helped nurture my creativity and helped fortify me with constructive and well-placed criticism. They also gave me an immense set of tools with which I use to tackle every challenge that comes my way. My design professors, Jose Montoto, Alane Spinney, and Laura Hauracha taught me to have fun with design. I use this passion for fun when I design courses that are meant to activate learning in the trainee. I use elements of unexpected fun to make the training memorable and less tedious.”

Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.

“I received a presidential scholarship, art scholarship, excellence in studio art award, and excellent in art history award. I graduated summa cum laude.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Follow the syllabus. I cannot state this strongly enough. It will make your academic life smoother and less stressful. Education is what you make of it, so get what you want out of it! Your professors are there to help, and they love it when you come to them with questions. They’re your most valuable resource.”

  • 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.

    • 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 …