Skip to main content

Geospatial Science

Student Voices

  • Profile Image
    Submitted photo.

Shelby Smith ‘13

Hometown

Rockford, Mich.

Major(s)

Geography

Minor(s)

Geographic Information Systems, Sociology

Shelby Smith ’13, believes in trusting your instincts and following your heart. That’s how she got to Carthage. It also helped her realize that she wasn’t meant for the pre-med track that she had always planned on.

“The first semester of my freshman year, I was placed in an Intro to Human Geography class and absolutely loved it,” said Shelby. “I never really thought of geography as a major before that point, but after that class, I knew that my passion was in geography and I had to change.”

Her professors have been a great asset to Shelby, both as teachers and mentors.

“We have a smaller department, but it is wonderful,” she said. “We have professors who are passionate and love what they do. They make geography fun and interesting. The professors definitely make our program great.”

Her opportunities have expanded outside of the Geography and Earth Science Department. In fall 2011, she accompanied Carthage faculty and students on their annual trip to Stratford, Canada, for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

“We spent a long weekend in Stratford touring the city and seeing five performances while we were there,” she said. “It was an experience of a lifetime, and I plan on returning on this trip for years to come.”

Since making the jump to geography, many doors have been opened for Shelby. She is now a fellow for the department and is also a student instructor for geographic information systems courses.

“Carthage has allowed me to blossom as a student, but more importantly as a person. I want to follow my dreams and see where life takes me. As long as I am happy, I know I am doing the right thing.”

Career goal

“I can see myself going in many different directions. I have a lot of passions and dreams and I am not sure where those are going to take me, but I am excited to find out what my future holds. If I had to choose one thing, it would be a GIS analyst at a corporation.”

Favorite professor

“This is very hard since we have a wonderful department and I really have no bad things to say about any of the professors, but Professor Sun would have to be one of my favorite professors. She allowed me to find my passion for Geographic Information Systems (GIS). She has always been there for me if I need anything. She has also always encouraged and motivated me to be a better geography student.”

Favorite class

Meteorology has been one of my favorite classes. I learned so much and my professor made the topic fun and interesting. It is also something that affects our lives every day, so now I can walk outside, look up at the sky and all around me, and figure out why and what is happening with the weather. It was a topic that I didn’t know much about, and I walked away with knowledge I am going to have forever.”

Campus involvement

“On campus, I have always been involved withResidence Life Council. Residence Life Council brings the residence halls together for activities and fun. Also in the past year I have become the vice president of CURE. CURE stands for Carthage Unites to Rescue Earth; it is our environmental group on campus. CURE spends its time volunteering and educating the rest of campus on environmental awareness. Both of these groups are a very important part of my time at Carthage.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“If you love geography and want to be surrounded by professors and peers with the same passions, then you are thinking of the right major.”

Writer

Elizabeth Reinhardt
  • Quick Facts

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • 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.

    • 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 the Carthage core.

    • 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.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • 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.

    • When it comes to critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication, Carthage seniors score in the top 11 percent nationwide among colleges and universities using the Collegiate Learning Assessment. 

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For seven years running, Carthage students have been selected to conduct research for NASA aboard NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft. If you’re chosen for the Carthage Microgravity Team, you’ll float weightless — and take one giant leap toward a future in engineering, physics, or computer science.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • The Princeton Review selected Carthage for its 2016 “Best in the Midwest” college feature.

    • 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.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, 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.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • 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 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. Read more about sustainability at Carthage.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s 168 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • 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,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • In 2016, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 4 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 …

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    Previous
    Next