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  • Faelan O'Shaughnessy '21

Faelan O’Shaughnessy ’21

Class Year






Current home

Crystal Lake, Ill.

Current position

Graduate student, occupational therapy

Ms. O’Shaughnessy graduated from Carthage in 2021 with a degree in neuroscience. She is currently a graduate student at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio working to obtain her doctorate in occupational therapy. 

“The professors and amount of student involvement really prepared me for graduate school. I was able to become very involved on campus and was given the opportunity to step up to take leadership roles which opened many opportunities to me.”

While at Carthage, Ms. O’Shaughnessy was able to be part of the women’s tennis team while remaining active in her neuroscience major. She feels that Carthage’s small class sizes allowed her to have the one-on-one attention she needed to simultaneously be a successful athlete and student.

Ms. O’Shaughnessy thanks all her professors for their hard work and dedication to her success, but she would specifically like to thank Professor Daniel MillerProfessor Paul MartinoProfessor Amareshwar Singh, and Professor Nora Nickels for making her feel comfortable enough to ask for help and for making sure that she knew she had the encouragement and support needed to succeed. 

“I think the relationships I was able to build with professors at Carthage show how dedicated they are to making their students successful.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“The professors and amount of student involvement really prepared me for graduate school. I was able to become very involved on campus and was given the opportunity to step up to take leadership roles which opened many opportunities to me. The professors also were very helpful and supportive throughout my academic career at Carthage.”

Why did you choose Carthage?

“There are many reasons why I chose Carthage. First, I knew as soon as I started as a student that I would be treated as a student, not as just a number as it can be at big schools. I could really tell how much the professors loved what they did and how they were easily accessible for students.

“I also really loved the smaller class sizes which I knew would let me get to know my classmates. Before I started college I knew I wanted to play a sport which Carthage let me be able to do while being a successful student. Being able to play college tennis while getting my neuroscience degree really drew me to Carthage. I also loved the campus and its beautiful view of the lake, as well as the school’s distance relative to home for me.”

What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?

“Carthage gave me so many opportunities that other schools would not have been able to offer. Academically, Carthage really helped me achieve everything I wanted to. I also was very involved in clubs and sports which helped me build strong leadership roles. I was able to learn how to balance school, tennis, organizations, and my social life.

“The biggest opportunity was the hands-on education I received. Many of my professors were very influential in my academics and so helpful in making me successful. I was never afraid to ask for help, and I felt like I had all the support I needed to do well. I was able to academically thrive and push myself to get accepted and attend my top choice grad school because of what I was able to accomplish while at Carthage.”

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

“I had many professors play roles in my success, but Professor Daniel Miller, Professor Paul Martino, Professor Amareshwar Singh, and Professor Nora Nickels had the biggest influence on my academic successes. I always felt comfortable asking for help and knew that I could get encouragement and support when needed. I think the relationships I was able to build with professors at Carthage show how dedicated they are to making their students successful.”

Tips for current Carthage students:

“The most important thing I learned at Carthage is to take advantage of what is right in front of you. The professors are there to help you and make you successful, so use them and ask them for help — they will do everything they can. I also would say, don’t be afraid to step up and take on new roles. I took on many leadership roles as a student at Carthage that I would never have before. Carthage has so many opportunities and taking advantage of them will only help you in the long run. The four years go by fast so make the best of it and use the resources available while you have them.”

  • 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 …