Alissa Marek-Spartz

Class Year

’19

Hometown

Winona, Minnesota

Major(s)

Sociology

Minor(s)

Classical Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies

“Majoring in sociology has really opened my eyes to the ways in which our world functions and how much society and groups of people really influence each of us. I have learned a lot about our society in my classes and the more I learn about the issues we have, the more I want to do something to change them.”

Alissa Marek-Spartz, ’19

Career goal

“I do not know for sure yet, but I’ll most likely be working for a non-profit either doing research or community outreach.”

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

Professor Rick Matthews was my professor for Intro to Sociology, so he was really the first professor to make me view things in a different way. Whenever I have any sort of question, he will always make time to address it.”

Favorite class

“I think that my favorite class that I have taken is Cultural Anthropology. It sort of combined sociology and classical studies as it was looking into more of a group’s culture, often through historical artifacts.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in quite a few things on campus. I am in Habitat for Humanity, Carthage United to Rescue Earth, Advocates for Social Change, and Students Against Sexism in Society. I am a member of the Carthage Pep Band as well. I am also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Kappa Delta, and Eta Sigma Phi. I am also soon to be a member of Pi Delta Chi and Iota Iota Iota.”

Toughest class

“I think that one of my most difficult classes was Sociology of Adventure. While I enjoyed the topics that we discussed, many of the readings were very difficult to get through and the general format of the course did not really work well for me.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I completed an internship back home in Winona, Minnesota at Grace Place. The organizations focuses on helping women and families who may have had unexpected pregnancies or who cannot afford much when it comes to their families. They have a thrift store and take donations, but they also conduct classes for parents of young children. They have what they call a “free-shelf” where once a month families can come and receive items from there and the thrift store in relation to the number of members in their family.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I have participated in two J-Term study tours. I went to Namibia in 2017 and Peru in 2018. Both of these were fantastic experiences that I would definitely recommend to anyone. They helped to expand my worldview by introducing me to things that I had not previously realized. I am also a research assistant in the Carthage Office for Research and Evaluation Services, so I have helped administer surveys, analyze data, and help other organizations around the Kenosha area.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I have to say that both of my J-Term study tours that I went on were amazing experiences with amazing people. I will always value those memories. I have also had some great experiences with the organizations that I am a part of including participating in the 2017 March for Science in Chicago with Carthage United to Rescue Earth, the 2017 Aids Walk Wisconsin with Advocates for Social Change, where we got to meet actress Jane Lynch, and the 2018 Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge in Tallahassee, Florida.”

Favorite spot on campus

“There is a specific outlet area by the lake behind Denhart Hall that is one of my favorite spots of campus. On days with nice weather, I bring out my homework and do it there looking out over the lake.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I think the biggest surprise has been how easy it is to make new friends. That was one thing I was a bit worried about going into college as an introvert, but it seems any time I participate in any event or activity there are always some great people that I meet there.”

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

“I never really thought about sociology or any aspects of society when I was 8 years old, so I never really considered it then. I’d like to think that at least the 8-year-old me would take comfort in the fact that I will be using what privilege and opportunities I have to help make our world a better place for everyone to live and interact.”

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

“If you are considering a major in sociology, I strongly recommend it. I believe that the social sciences are the future. Aspects of social science can be found everywhere and help to look at things from a different and more objective perspective.

Majoring in sociology has really opened my eyes to the ways in which our world functions and how much society and groups of people really influence each of us. I have learned a lot about our society in my classes, and the more I learn about the issues we have, the more I want to do something to change them.”

Why Carthage?

“I was sent pamphlets in the mail, and the lake was beautiful, so I visited. I liked what I saw and the financial things fell into place, so it seemed like a good fit.”