Sidney Burke

Class Year



Richmond, Indiana




Criminal Justice

Heavily involved on campus, Sidney Burke has made lasting connections and memories with professors and fellow students through Greek life, clubs, and class discussions. Sidney is a member of Delta Omega Epsilon, the Better Together Interfaith Club, and will soon be an e-board member of the Merely Players Improv Comedy troupe.

After graduation, Sidney plans to attend graduate school in hopes of becoming a forensic social worker, utilizing her degree in psychology and criminal justice from Carthage.

“The biggest surprise at Carthage was how nice everyone immediately was. I was shocked my first few days on campus when strangers would smile and just generally be super friendly. The student body made Carthage totally feel like one big family!”

Sidney Burke, ’19

Career goal

“After Carthage, I plan on going to graduate school to pursue a masters in social work, or potentially a dual degree in social work and public health. Ideally, I’d end up as a forensic social worker!”

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

Dr. Fatih Harpci, my Understandings of Religion professor, made me more excited to learn at Carthage, as well as opened my mind to different faiths. Similarly to some students, I was not particularly enthused to have to take courses that were required outside of my major. Dr. Harpci turned what I thought would be a disappointing course into something that changed the very way I think. He encouraged students to really analyze the texts, participate in class discussions, and formulate their own thoughts and opinions when it came to the topic at hand. I got to explore religion, something I was previously unfamiliar with, in a very constructive, healthy way. I left this course at the end of the semester very satisfied, and I could completely understand why that course is required. Dr. Harpci taught complex ideas in such simple ways, something I really admired.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage has been Western Heritage! This course allowed me to express big ideas in class discussions and I explore some philosophy along the way, which I might even add as a minor. I took Western Heritage and Understandings of Religion at the same time, and this allowed me to connect ideas between classes. That aha moment came to me more than a few times while taking Western Heritage, which is something every student loves to experience. Western Heritage encourages intellectual discussions within the classroom and allows students to analyze text in ways they may not have in high school!”

Campus involvement

“I’m a member of Delta Omega Epsilon and I’m also a part of the Merely Players Improv Comedy troupe! Starting Fall 2017, I’ll be on the e-board for the Merely Players, which is something I’m really excited about. I’m also an active member of the Better Together Interfaith Club on campus! This group has allowed me to promote interfaith on campus, meet the founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel, as well as volunteer within Kenosha to help better the community.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class so far has been Physics for Future Presidents. This course was challenging for everyone, but rewarding! We learned about physics in more practical ways than one would in a typical physics course. This class might have been more tough because it was during J-Term so it was fast-paced. It also involved some math, which I am not fond of, but I’m glad I took it.”


“I received a merit scholarship from Carthage, as well as the Elme and Eudora Hanke scholarship. Quite honestly, this aid allows me to attend Carthage. I was only able to enroll at Carthage because of the significant amount of financial aid offered. Carthage gave me more money than nearly all of the in-state schools I applied to. Receiving these scholarships mean that my efforts throughout high school mattered and that my college education is important to not just me.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“One of my favorite Carthage memories is when I was picked to join the Merely Players (MP)! I do talk about them a lot, but that’s because I haven’t known college without MP. After MP auditions first semester, when I found out I got in, it was like I had an instant family! Another favorite Carthage memory was Giving Day! This year the weather was perfect, everyone was happy, and there was a free mac and cheese bar to top it off. Having everyone on campus come together to have fun and feel the school spirit really made my week!”

Favorite spot on campus

“The glass classrooms in the David A. Straz, Jr. Center that face the lake are amazing! On weekends when I want to do homework and also have a view, I try to find an empty glass room that faces the lake. There’s something about having the lake view in front of your school work that makes doing it much easier.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise at Carthage was how nice everyone immediately was. I was shocked my first few days on campus when strangers would smile and just generally be super friendly. The student body made Carthage totally feel like one big family!”

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

“Considering my 8-year-old self wanted my college self to be at Harvard, studying to be a lawyer, I suppose she would be a little disappointed. I feel like my younger self would be completely perplexed with my career path, but all that really matters is that I know what I’m doing now!”

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

“Other students should consider my major because it can be a great starting point for graduate school! Although I’m majoring in psychology, I’m going to graduate school for social work. I also know some people that are studying psychology and going to graduate school for law. Overall, it’s a challenging and thought-provoking major that can appeal to many students.”

“You’ll know whether or not majoring in psychology is for you after taking Intro to Psych. If you can stick through that and still find yourself wanting more, you can easily face the rest of it.”

Why Carthage?

“I knew I would come to Carthage after I came for a campus visit. Carthage’s size really appealed to me. I didn’t want to drown in a sea of students and never have the opportunity to meet and get to know those in my classes. The small campus was enough for me, considering all it has to offer. I also chose Carthage because they accepted all of my dual credits I got in high school, allowing me to graduate in three years, rather than four!”