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Neuroscience

Alumni

  • Emily Benitez

Emily Benitez ’21

Class Year

’21

Major(s)

Neuroscience

Minor(s)

Biology

Current home

Kenosha, Wis.

Current position

Graduate student, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Emily Benitez graduated in 2021 with a degree in neuroscience. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse where she is enrolled in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program. Her favorite part of physical therapy is the connection between the patients and their therapists. 

While at Carthage, Ms. Benitez was awarded the Haribo Scholarship, worked as a neuroscience lab manager, and was involved in the National Society of Leadership and Success

Ms. Benitez’s favorite memories at Carthage include being part of her sorority, Chi Omega, and working as a neuroscience fellow during the 2020-21 school year. She thanks Carthage for pushing her to be a leader, a scholar, and a friend to those around her.

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I have worked in the outpatient physical therapy setting at Sports Physical Therapists in Kenosha the past three years, and I really enjoy the one-on-one interaction and relationship between the patients and the therapists.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“The Neuroscience Department, especially Professor Daniel Miller, has been a large part of my journey into applying to graduate school. In particular, the rat lab class further sparked my interest in neuroscience, and working as a lab tech and manager the last two years has facilitated my passion to pursue neuro physical therapy in my future therapy career.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because I am from Kenosha, and I wanted to stay close to home. The neuroscience major also played a large factor in my decision, as I knew I wanted to attend a smaller school with that major.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“I believe that involvement in clubs, a sorority, and being heavily involved in my major opened the door for my doctorate school acceptance.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“The top two attributes that I gained from Carthage that will help most for my future career are the intimate science classes that provided hands-on learning, and the writing-intensive courses that are required for all Carthage graduates. Due to both of these, I am able to have amazing and rare hands-on knowledge from the labs I performed as well as confidence in my writing, from an email to a research grant proposal.”

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

“Prof. Miller truly took on one of the biggest roles in my undergraduate studies as a mentor and supporter. He gave me the best opportunities to grow in the neuroscience major as well as thrive in the laboratory research setting with the rats. My Carthage experience would not be the same without him. Secondly, biology professor Professor Paul Martino was my advisor and mentor. He’s always so encouraging and helpful, and truly kept me motivated for applying to PT school.”

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

“I was awarded the Haribo Scholarship, and I was a neuroscience fellow during the 2020-21 school year. I also worked as a neuroscience lab manager, and I was part of the National Society of Leadership and Success”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“Tackle the challenging courses with confidence! Everything works out in the end, and your hard work will be very worth it.”

Favorite Carthage memories:

“Some of my favorite Carthage memories were made within my sorority, Chi Omega. The women of Chi Omega shaped me into the resilient and strong woman I am today.”

What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?

“Seeking truth is truly a four-year journey as you move through undergrad, but it is a value that stays with you forever. Carthage has not only taught me to seek the truth but also to build strength and confidence in all aspects of my life while sharing my growth and knowledge with others.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage was granted Wisconsin’s first chapter in Nu Rho Psi, the national honor society for neuroscience. 

    • The Neuroscience Department offers one of Carthage’s most popular J-Term study tours: Biodiversity, Brains, and Behavior. In this course, students earn scuba certification, then spend January diving in Honduras to understand the evolution of nervous systems and behavior.

    • New in 2015, the Carthage Science Center features a neuroscience laboratory equipped with rat and mouse colonies, a behavioral data collection room, suites for rodent surgery and histology, and a confocal microscopy lab.

    • 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 …

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