Renee’ Jalbert

Class Year

’19

Hometown

Belvidere, Illinois

Major(s)

Biology

Minor(s)

Communications, Public Relations

Throughout her time at Carthage, biology major Renee’ Jalbert has been extremely active and successful in many different areas of study and activities on campus, in and outside of the classroom.

After participating in numerous different clubs and organizations — including Special Olympics, the Carthage Treble Choir, Ballroom Dance Club, Tri-Beta, and many others — Renee’ is the 2018-2019 Student Government President. By becoming involved in so many various communities on campus, Renee’ has been able to experience the many different perspectives and groups located on Carthage’s campus.

In class, Renee’ has made long lasting connections with her professors, specifically Professor Katina Petsas, Professor Helene DeGross, and those teaching Western Heritage. These connections have provided her with endless opportunities in research and networking. Renee’ credits Carthage’s challenging courses for inspiring her academic growth and pushing her toward greatness.

“I didn’t know what I lacked in knowledge until I took these courses, which is expected, but the amount of information I walked away with was incredible,” she said.

After graduation, Renee’ hopes to attend graduate school to pursue a career in healthcare administration. She thanks Carthage for its “amazing environment and staff who allow you to redefine success for yourself with their support.”

“Biology is a diverse field that is always trying to develop new techniques, expand studies, and better understand the world we live in. The opportunities I’ve had in this field and the support I’ve gotten from professors have made my decision to be a biology major so much more worthwhile.”

Renee’ Jalbert, ’19

Career goal

“I intend to get a master’s degree in healthcare administration and aspire to one day be a hospital director.”

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

“Although I’m a biology major, some of the professors who have most impacted my life at Carthage have been Western Heritage professors and the adjunct professors in the Communication and Digital Media Department. My freshman year Western Heritage professor taught me the importance of delving deeper into the literature and asking questions. He also recognized my ability to stress myself out and gave me advice and an outlet through his Tai Chi course. He has helped me to network in the field I want to go into and is interested when I have updates. Every Communication professor I have had has been incredible. They are passionate in their field, understanding of the text and the real world, and deeply care about the success of the individuals in their classroom.”

“Professor Katina Petsas and Professor Helene DeGross are two outstanding individuals who have made my decision to add two minors in communication and public relation one of the best I’ve made here.”

Favorite class

“I have two favorites for different reasons. In my biology major, my favorite class has been Disease Resistance. The course taught me how to better read scientific journals and present what was important for others to understand.”

“My second favorite class would be my Public Speaking course. Public Speaking is not a course that is required for students, but it’s a course that I think can greatly benefit any student. I became more poised in my speaking and came out of the course more confident in my ability to express my ideas both thoughtfully and effectively. This course helped me to win an internship over the summer because of the tips and methods I learned and practiced that developed my public speaking skills so thoroughly.”

Campus involvement

“I am heavily involved in academic and social organizations on campus. I participated in Student Government and will be the 2018-2019 Student Government President next year. I am the treasurer of the Special Olympics organization on campus as well as Tri-Beta, the biology honor society, and Pi Delta Chi, a service sorority. I have been heading up the Ballroom Dance Club and I am a part of Omicron Delta Kappa, a leadership fraternity. Carthage has an outstanding amount of clubs and organizations to be a part of and it is difficult to not find something tailored toward your interest.”

Toughest class

“Microbiology or Genetics. It was no longer surface-level information that we were discussing, it was the heart of the subjects. I didn’t know what I lacked in knowledge until I took these courses, which is expected, but the amount of information I walked away with was incredible. While the classes were difficult, the courses were some of the most interesting biology courses I have taken.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I have been in the Carthage Women’s Ensemble since my freshman year and it has been truly incredible. I had not intended to continue music in college, but I decided to audition for the fun of it, and I am beyond grateful that I did. The choir director, Dr. Peter Dennee, makes both the music and his students his primary focus. His genuine personality and passion is truly inspiring, and the trips and opportunities I’ve had with the choir make me proud to one day be a Carthage Women’s Ensemble alumni. Another experience I’ve had has been doing undergraduate tea research with Dr. Daniel Choffnes. The research team and the studies we are conducting to analyze different varieties of teas is incredible. It makes my appreciation for tea and the people here so much greater.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Some of my favorite memories include Homecoming and the annual Red and Ready Giving Day. These events showcase the Carthage spirit and are filled with activities that students can attend and use to take a break from studying.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus would be down by the beach. Not every school has a beach you can just walk down to. Listening to the water greet the shore is calming on some of the crazier days.”

Biggest surprise so far

“My time at Carthage has been full of surprises. Most of the positions I’ve held or the activities I’ve been involved in were things I never expected. The biggest surprise would be the amount of support from staff and faculty I’ve received. College isn’t anything like high school, but it also doesn’t mean you just get labeled as a number and have to struggle through it on your own. Carthage has an amazing environment and staff who allow you to redefine success for yourself with their support.”

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

“My 8-year-old self wanted to be a geologist. She would be happy for me in what I have chosen, I’m sure, but then she’d go back to cracking open rocks with a hammer under the back porch.”

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

“Biology is a diverse field that is always trying to develop new techniques, expand studies, and better understand the world we live in. The opportunities I’ve had in this field and the support I’ve gotten from professors has made my decision to be a biology major so much more worthwhile.”

“Don’t go into the major knowing exactly what you want to do, or do come in with that exact idea. Either way, be open to learn something different and exciting, something contradictory to your interests and beliefs. Get ready to analyze and reevaluate everything, because why not? This is how you will get the most out of the biology major, or any major.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because of an experience. I came up for one of the scholarship competitions and during the interview portion I was being interviewed by two professors who seemed fairly well acquainted to one another. At the end of the interview I asked them how long they had known each other and they mentioned they had just met that morning. Their friendliness toward one another made me feel comfortable and secured my belief that this college would provide me with an atmosphere of friendliness, support, and the ability to succeed.”