During a J-Term study tour to Nicaragua, Racquel Sohasky says her “eyes were opened” and was influenced to pursue a career in global health.
“A biology major is taken seriously at Carthage, and it provides many opportunities to grow as a student and servant to the world around you. Finishing the major is worthwhile because of the wide variety of directions you can go with it, but you have to have your heart in it,” she said.
After graduating from Carthage, Racquel plans to teach in Guatemala for six months and then attend medical school.
“Carthage is an excellent school, but like all others, it is only as great as what you put into it. Exploring the opportunities available and taking advantage of having caring and committed professors can make all the difference in enjoying your time at Carthage.”
“I found at Carthage I would be able to receive the personalized experience of a smaller college, while still receiving the chances to participate in international trips, research, and other opportunities offered at larger institutions.”
“After I graduate from Carthage I plan to teach in Guatemala for six months and then attend medical school. My career goal is to become an anesthesiologist, although I am open to other medical specialties.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“I have had several incredible professors at Carthage; they are what make the school an exceptional institution.
“Prof. Patrick Pfaffle was one of the first professors I met when I began my undergraduate career at Carthage. He became my adviser sophomore year and has been encouraging since the very beginning. Prof. Pfaffle is compassionate and truly cares about the wellbeing of his students. I have taken multiple classes of his, including the trip to Nicaragua. He is passionate about what he does as a professor and especially about the work being accomplished abroad. Prof. Pfaffle has made sure to keep up with my current progress toward medical school and always stops to talk in the hallway. He is one of the professors who inspired me to make global health a part of my career.
“Another professor who has played a large part in my undergraduate career is Prof. David Brownholland. Prof. Brownholland helped to start a Pre-Health Committee at Carthage and became the chair of the committee once it was founded. He helped me understand what applying for, and attending medical school entails. Prof. Brownholland is a very encouraging professor who is always eager to help in any way possible.”
“My favorite class at Carthage so far was the Nicaragua J-Term study tour. It gave me the opportunity to learn about the culture and lifestyle of another country. This class was much more than a course for credits. It was an eye-opening experience that influenced my decision to pursue a career in global health.”
“I belong to a few organizations at Carthage including Pre-Health Club and Beta Beta Beta which are geared toward students who plan to pursue careers in the health and biological sciences. Pre-Health Club offers opportunities for students to explore various health related careers and connect with other students with similar career paths. I have enjoyed the opportunities to meet other students and learn about medicine through this organization at Carthage. Beta Beta Beta is the Honors Biology fraternity, of which I recently became a member and the secretary. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet other students who have also worked hard in the biological sciences.”
“My toughest class at Carthage has been Biostatistics and Experimental Design (BIO 4100). The class was much different from anything I had ever taken before. It was necessary to put in large amounts of time for this course because it was preparation for the biology thesis. Writing a research proposal is a difficult task unlike anything most of the students had done previously.”
Internships or on-campus employment
“Prior to my junior year of college I had an internship at the University of Michigan Health System in the NeuroMuscular Laboratory. I conducted research which aimed toward advancing upper limb neuroprostheses. Most of my work included the analysis of histological data. The following summer I worked in the Perioperative Clinical Research Institute at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center. I tested a new hemodynamic monitor in the operating room and post-anesthesia care unit.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“During J-Term of my junior year at Carthage, I traveled to Nicaragua. I worked in four different clinics on Ometepe Island and learned about the lifestyle of another country. Next J-Term I will be traveling to Guatemala on a Spanish language immersion trip.”
“I received the Carthage Highest Honors Scholarship for my grades in high school, which was part of the reason I decided to enroll at Carthage. I also received the Blake R. and Marie E. Children Scholarship at the end of my junior year at Carthage. This scholarship is offered to students with a focus in nursing, medical technology, or medicine. I was grateful for the recognition I received from the Biology Department for my work in the sciences. This award was encouraging as I prepared to take the next step in my career by attending medical school.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“During my sophomore year I played on the women’s volleyball team. I enjoyed playing the sport I loved surrounded by my wonderful teammates. We went on to win the conference championship that year. The support we received from the school as students, faculty, and community members who filled the gym to watch our conference and regional matches was incredible.”
Favorite spot on campus
“I love the Science Center! It is a great place to learn, study, and hang out. I go there all the time during the week and weekends to study and meet up with other students. The new laboratories and equipment are nice features science majors can now take advantage of.”
Biggest surprise so far
“My biggest surprise has been all of the things students can be involved in at a small school. There are opportunities to pursue most interests. One of my favorite groups on campus is InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a Christian worship group. It is a wonderful crowd of students who share a passion for The Lord and are able to share that with others through large and small groups within a single club.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“My 8-year-old self did not know I wanted to be a physician. However, I think I would have been excited to see myself working toward an exciting goal. I would have been scared for all the work to come, but comforted by the support I would receive along the way.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“I would tell other students they needed to take biology, or any major they choose, purposefully. You can pursue any degree you want and achieve your goals if you remain focused. A biology major is taken seriously at Carthage, and it provides many opportunities to grow as a student and servant to the world around you. Finishing the major is worthwhile because of the wide variety of directions you can go with it, but you have to have your heart in it.”