Gladys Montoya

Class Year



Zion, Illinois




Secondary Education

Originally choosing Carthage for the opportunity to learn in small class sizes with attentive professors, Gladys Montoya has excelled in her major and made great professor-student relationships. Working with Dr. Aaron Trautwein, Dr. Karin Sconzert, Dr. Mark Snavely, and many more professors, Gladys has been able to challenge herself in problem-solving and critical thinking while also learning from their great teaching methods for her own future in education.

On campus, Gladys is involved in Math Department Tea, Alpha Lambda Delta, Peer-Coaching, and First-Generation Club, as she is a first-generation student herself.

After graduation Gladys plans to teach mathematics in her own community at Zion-Benton Township High School. “I want to show students that mathematics is essential and important because it is used in everyday life and works in different careers.”

“Never let anyone put you or your beliefs down. I am a first-generation, diverse, minority student that is accomplishing her goal. There are struggles, but one day it will all be worth it.”

Gladys Montoya, ’19

Career goal

“After Carthage, I hope to go to my community and teach at Zion-Benton Township High School to motivate and inspire students to keep working towards what they desire to be. I want students to trust me with any issues they have, whether academical or personal. I want to show students that mathematics is essential and important because it is used in everyday life and works in different careers. Most importantly, I want to make math enjoyable for students so I will include different activities to enhance their understanding and knowledge of the material.”

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

Dr. Aaron Trautwein has shown me that it is important to teach with explicit detail and work out a problem down to the minimum detail in order to have each student understand a concept. He also has shown me that it is important to have patience because everyone works differently and everyone works at a different rate. We all have different abilities and it is important to be able to work with all.”

Dr. Karin Sconzert has made me realize over the years that it is important to want to reach out to help others, especially students in urban schools because there are times that people are not financially stable, don’t have the resources, or services to aid them. During these struggling times, school is a safe haven for students to receive what they need and the attention they deserve. Sometimes a student needs someone to talk to about their personal problems or to aid them with college applications, and I would like to be that teacher.”

Dr. Mark Snavely has given me a confidence booster that I really needed. There are many times one may feel like they are not good at what they do and for someone to believe in you and see the efforts you make is really important. In a way, it’s as if I was told “Yes, you are on the right track and your parents should be proud of you.” I really appreciate their influence on me.”

Favorite class

“Professor Marilyn Propp’s Color Theory has been my favorite class at Carthage because it relaxed me after a stressful semester. Because I would be entering another tough semester, I needed something to help me de-stress. I learned a lot about the different ways colors can be combined, how each palette could symbolize an element, and the meaning of different terms. I would definitely recommend it to be a 15-week class.”

Campus involvement

“I have attended Math Department Tea where students play math games and have the opportunity to talk with professors. There are also snacks and Sara Jensen’s brownies are the best! I have also been in Alpha Lambda Delta, which is a National Honor Society that recognizes first-year students for their academic excellence and achievements. I have been a Peer-Coach, helping students transition into their first year of college. Now, I am in the uprising First-Generation Club and I am very excited to see where things will go!”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage so far has been Mark Snavely’s Real Analysis class. It is a course in which you really have to use critical-thinking skills and logic skills to prove many of the problems using different theorems. It makes something so easy, which we took for granted in school, such as: - ( a + b ) = (-a) + (-b), seem so difficult and makes you question whether a step is valid.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“The Education Department has given me the opportunity to start with my minor at a very early time. My freshman year at Carthage I was already observing in the classroom and doing presentations. During my sophomore year I was recording my presentations and writing papers on how to improve myself in order to be ready for the EdTPA, an assessment on how one performs and interacts with students in the classroom environment while teaching the specific content area they are majoring in. Now as a junior, I am doing a preliminary EdTPA, a practice to the EdTPA, in which professors are allowed to aid me. Then during my senior year, I will be student teaching, God willing. Since I am a commuter, I am able to choose where to perform the EdTPA as long as the school is approved by Carthage.”


“I have received the Benefactors Scholarship, Multicultural Grant, Early FAFSA Filers Award, Donor Funded Grant, and Faculty Honors Scholarship. I am very appreciative of them because they have allowed me to further my studies and making my goal attainable.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Something I will never forget is when Jesse McCartney was at Carthage. My sister loved him when she was younger and I actually had the opportunity to meet him and be at the concert. I was surprised to still remember almost all his songs!”

Favorite spot on campus

“Downstairs in the Hedberg Library, all the way to the back on the left side is where my favorite spot is. There is usually a couch that keeps being moved around, but I can spend hours there. I like to be alone and in the quiet, especially on my tired days, it relaxes me.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I have actually been surprised by a couple of things. I never imagined that I would have gotten so far in college and much less to continue to earn good grades. I think this is why I was so surprised when I was recommended for this Student Voices profile page. In high school I did receive recognition for grades, but being able to be recognized in higher education for anything illustrates that maybe I am a good student.”

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would be surprised. At that time, I don’t think I was doing so well in school, so to think that I would be majoring in math with a minor in Secondary Education would have been crazy. I am still surprised now, but I probably didn’t think I would be going to college because I am not sure whether I had relatives that attended college to influence me.”

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

“I would tell them that there is always support for anything that is needed. Professors and advisors are there to aid you. Definitely study in groups when possible because the material can be difficult, but study the material on your own as well. There will be tests that will assess you, not the group, so it is up to you to know the material as well. Always, always ask questions, even if you think it’s dumb, not everything comes easily.”

“Never let anyone put you or your beliefs down. I am a first-generation, diverse, minority student that is accomplishing her goal. There are struggles, but one day it will all be worth it.”

Why Carthage?

“I wanted to study somewhere where the professors would always be available to aid me in any way, especially with homework problems that I would not understand. Somewhere where the professors would know my name, beyond the semester I had them, and know and understand the way I learn best. I knew I wanted a small classroom so I can maintain focus and be able to ask questions without distractions. Since I knew I was going to be a commuter, I knew I would spend several hours doing homework between classes and found a spot I loved at the library.”