Before her studies at Carthage, Cara Hull never could have imagined she would be given the chance to travel to multiple different countries or work closely with professors on intensive research. A biology major, Cara couldn’t be happier in her field.
Through Model United Nations and J-Term study tours, Cara has visited Israel, Colombia, Scotland, Honduras, Singapore, and Taiwan. Her experiences around the world have broadened her perspectives and inspired her love for travel. “I was able to learn about and see the biodiversity of these different areas of the world.”
As for her impressive undergraduate research, Cara has taken full advantage of the opportunities offered by Carthage professors. “I have taken part in two undergraduate research groups on campus, one studying the bioacoustics of wolves and the other analyzing the content of bioactive molecules in tea.”
Cara advises future biology students “to get involved and talk to professors.” After graduation, she hopes to attend graduate school in pursuit of a career in marine biology.
“In high school, I had hoped to partake in research during my senior year of college, but what I had imagined was not even close to what I have had the opportunity to do at Carthage.”
“Following my career at Carthage College, I intend to continue onto graduate school to obtain a PhD. The areas I am interested in include genetics and ecology, specifically focusing on Marine Biology. Beyond this, I hope to become a principal investigator leading research projects that study coral reefs.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“Dr. Angela Dassow offered me my first summer and ecology based research opportunity. From this point onward, she has been a mentor and has supported me in my future career goals. She has allowed me to gain experience in pursuing research that I will use in my future career.”
“Dr. Daniel Choffnes was the first professor I worked on a research project for and had originally inspired me to seriously consider my dreams of pursuing graduate school. He has played a large role in helping me learn to write personal statements, search for research opportunities, and discuss my future goals both at and beyond Carthage.”
“My favorite class at Carthage thus far has been the genetics course I took in my sophomore year. I thoroughly enjoyed learning the application aspects of my prior classes and the challenges the course posed, such as the oral exam. This course inspired me to pursue genetics and to continue onto graduate school because I continually want to learn more.”
“I am most involved in an organization called Model United Nations at Carthage. This group has allowed me to participate in several conferences which have aided me in public speaking and constructive debate. It has also allowed me to travel more frequently than the J-Term opportunities. Model UN has brought me to places like Israel, Colombia, and Scotland.”
“My toughest class thus far has been Organic Chemistry because it explores a type of thinking that we haven’t used in any other chemistry class.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“I have taken part in two undergraduate research groups on campus, one studying the bioacoustics of wolves and the other analyzing the content of bioactive molecules in tea. Through these opportunities I have been able to travel to conferences in St. Louis, Memphis, Edmond, and New Orleans. Aside from this, I have had the opportunity to partake in J-Term study tours to Honduras, Singapore, and Taiwan. I was able to learn about and see the biodiversity of these different areas of the world.”
“I received an endowed scholarship from Eleanor and Harold Lentz along with the Knisely-Merton Elihu Scholarship. By receiving these, I have been able to partake in J-Term study tours and travels to areas of the world that I always dreamed of going to.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Carthage has offered me a variety of amazing and fun opportunities, but one of my favorite memories is seeing the mudskippers in Taiwan. I had once seen these creatures in a documentary and after watching, I was immediately fascinated by them and hoped to one day see them in person. On my J-Term trip to Taiwan and Singapore, we visited mangroves, where they are found, and I remember smiling and being overjoyed the entire time.”
Favorite spot on campus
“My favorite spot on campus is the outdoor classroom behind the David A. Straz, Jr. Center. I love visiting it when I feel overwhelmed because watching the water move and hearing the waves crash offer a calming escape from the stress of everyday life, allowing me to recollect my thoughts.”
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise I have encountered at Carthage thus far is all of the opportunities I have had. In high school, I had hoped to partake in research during my senior year of college, but what I had imagined was not even close to what I have had the opportunity to do at Carthage.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“When I was young I couldn’t even dream of all the opportunities I have now encountered in my studies. For example, Carthage has offered me my first chance to travel to another country, as well as opportunities in biology research.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“I would advise other students that plan to pursue biology to get involved and talk to professors. It will provide you with many future opportunities.”
“I chose to attend Carthage because of all the opportunities it has to offer, like the small class sizes and the variety of student based research projects offered.”