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Student Voices

  • Sandra Masibayi '21

Sandra Masibayi ’21


Nairobi, Kenya


Data Science, Mathematics

Favorite spot on campus

“I loved the sixth-floor lounge in The Tower, the beach on the lake, and the gym in the TARC all equally. I’m always at one of these three places.”

Career goal

“I am currently admitted at University of Southern California to obtain my master’s degree in biomedical engineering/biomedical data analytics for fall 2021. I intend to build on my research curiosity and hopefully offer deeper insights when learning how to apply my data science skills in the biomedical industry.

“I am also interviewing with Google for a role in their data centers in California. I am torn between corporate life and graduate school at the moment, though I am sure that I will be happy with either as I am passionate about data and willing to transform it to solve problems, regardless of what setting. That’s how much love I have for data!”

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

“I can’t explain how grateful I am to Carthage faculty, staff, non-teaching staff, my advisors, and my peers for the impact they have made in my life while at Carthage. Despite a number of challenges here and there, I am glad I had a strong support system around me. Their support encouraged me to keep reaching higher and higher.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage was Social Problems by Professor Timothy Johnson in fall 2017. I love politics, and I am passionate about social justice, and this class sparked so many important conversations that helped me understand some societal issues and how to work with others to improve the situation at hand. It is through my professors’ help and guidance that I also started volunteering at Boys’ and Girls’ Club – Kenosha.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage was Real Analysis. It was a class I had dreaded since freshman year. Every mathematics major would warn you about it. I remember telling Professor Mark Snavely that I was struggling, and he worked hard to help me and to make sure I understood the material. Even so, it was still challenging, but I am grateful that I did not drop my math major. Actually, around when I was planning to withdraw from the class, I remember receiving an email inviting me to be inducted to Pi Mu Epsilon, the Math National Honor Society. My mother claimed it was a sign to hang in there and I am glad I did.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I had the opportunity to work three work-study jobs on campus. I’ve worked in media services as an information and media technology assistant since my freshman year. I was also the personal assistant to the director of tutoring, and I worked for Sodexo at Starbucks and the Red Zone. Working on campus not only helped me connect with my peers, colleagues, and staff, but it also gave me an opportunity to grow and get out of my comfort zone.

“As for internships, I had the honor to intern at DIFFvelopment in New Jersey in 2019 as a business analyst consultant and entrepreneurship intern. I also interned at Local Labs as a data analyst intern in the fall of 2020. I got the opportunity through my classmate who also ended up being my supervisor there! It was a good experience, and it helped me learn to use my time in the most efficient way since I was still working on campus, studying for my graduate record examination test, and applying to graduate school.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I got to start working in biomedical research in fall of 2020 on the relapse of vitiligo after UVB light therapy with the help and guidance of visiting associate professor, Professor Andrew Funk.”


“I am a Zawadi Scholar. Carthage had a partnership with the Zawadi Africa Educational Fund to fund the full cost of attendance of one student from the organization based on merit. This scholarship has been the plane to my next layover, so to speak, as it has opened my mind to newer possibilities and opportunities, broadened my mindset, led to my growth, and introduced me to lifelong friends.”

Campus involvement

“I had the honor of being a member of a number of clubs and organizations at Carthage. Some of the organizations that had the greatest impact on my life during my four years at Carthage are the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium, Sigma Alpha Pi, Black Student Union, United Women of Color, Data Science Club, and Woods and Waters. I was honored to serve as the vice president of the Black Student Union, the vice president of United Women of Color, and the secretary of the Data Science Club.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Some of my best memories are waking up to the beautiful sunrises on the lake from my dorm room. I wish I could carry the view with me always! Commencement is another favorite memory of mine at Carthage as the whole procession led me to reflect on all the times I doubted myself on my journey but still got up and picked up the pieces. It was a very emotional day for me as it marked another milestone in my journey. I now know I was right for picking Carthage from the beginning. Lastly, one of my favorite memories was when the data science major was approved, and Prof. Snavely emailed me to confirm the news. I was so happy and excited as the last piece of the puzzle worked out for me.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The world will give you what you want if you are willing to work for it and endure the challenges and sacrifices. I also asked for help from anyone whenever I got stuck, and I was surprised at how so many people helped me through all my challenges.”

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would be proud and content that I was brave enough to trust in the process. I am not the doctor most African parents push their children to be, but I am becoming the data engineer the world needs right now and in the future. My 8-year-old self would be grateful to my mum for being patient with my undying curiosity and love for adventure that led me to pursue a dream that I had no idea would turn into my passion.”

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

“Data science is the present and will be the future. Data powers everything, and it is needed in every business and company. As economist Ronald Coase said, ‘Torture the data and it will confess anything.’ Therefore, if you are curious and creative, do not be afraid to explore all the options and tools you can use to understand your data. Be self-driven, procreative, and always ask your professors for help. They will help you so much! Lastly, do not be afraid to play with data. It is meant to communicate something and offer an insight or solution.”


Magdalena Werger
  • 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 …