Jennifer Britton

Class Year

’19

Hometown

Colona, Illinois

Major(s)

Religion, Social Work

“There are so many diverse classes that no matter who you are, you will find something that sparks your interest.”

Jennifer Britton, ’19

Career goal

“After graduating from Carthage, I will hopefully be taking all that I have learned with me across the world through the Peace Corps. I am in the top candidates for a teaching position in Mongolia through the Peace Corps. Once I return, I will be pursuing a joint masters in social work and divinity to hopefully become a chaplain or a drug counselor.”

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

Phineas Marr was the first religion professor I ever had, and I do not think I would be on my current career path if not for him. He sparked my interest in studying other faiths, always spoke and acted with love and compassion, and made me feel like I mattered. I miss him very dearly.”

Jim Lochtefeld also inspires me every day. After having him take me to India and now working for him and being his student, I owe so much to that man. His fatherly love and the way he holds me to my highest standards makes me work hard every day. He is fun, caring, intelligent, and one of the greatest people I know. I look up to both of these professors more than they will ever know.”

Favorite class

“Tough call since I have loved them all so much, but Christian Spirituality with Professor Phineas Marr was probably my favorite. Being a non-Christian who will likely be working closely with many Christians in my line of work, I loved seeing more insight into it. The class was also fun, creative, and really changed me.”

Campus involvement

“I am the coordinator of interfaith work on campus, tutor religion, serve as the department’s fellow, serve as the vie president for Habitat for Humanity, actively participate in , proudly call Kappa Phi Eta my home, and participate in Theta Alpha Kappa and Alpha Lambda Delta honors fraternities.”

Toughest class

“My current thesis class for the religion major is definitely the toughest class I’ve ever done. Instead of structured expectations, you have to rely on your own time management skills, hold yourself accountable, and spend hours of unstructured time doing research.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I interned at the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha, assisting in the teaching and supervision of all of the kids for their after-school programs. I interned at Hospice Alliance, where I got to spend a semester shadowing and assisting a social worker who worked with the dying and their families. I also got to learn about bereavement work and help run a few groups. I am currently interning with Nicasa as a primary counselor, working with individuals with histories of substance abuse and mental health problems.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I had the pleasure of going on a J-Term study tour to India in January of 2018! The experience changed my life.”

Scholarships

“I received the Edgar W. Belter Scholarship this year! My family and I have been so grateful for this since it helps alleviate some of the financial burden of college on my family. It also instilled a sense of pride in my work for this year.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Being on the homecoming court this year honestly humbled me so much. Knowing people in my community value what I do means the world, and it was such an honor to be considered on-par with such wonderful people! Going to India changed my life, it opened new doors for exploring who I am and gave me the greatest culture shock. It was so beautiful, warm, and inviting. All of the Habitat for Humanity trips where we have gotten to travel the country, build homes, and make memories together have also made up my favorite memories.”

Favorite spot on campus

“The upstairs area of the A. F. Siebert Chapel. It is incredibly beautiful and peaceful. It’s a great escape from the real world.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I came into Carthage as a biology major on the pre-med track. I honestly thought I was going to graduate, go to medical school, and become a doctor. Seeing how all of that could not be more different than where I am now is honestly the biggest surprise for me.”

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

“My 8-year old self would be a bit confused (since she already wanted to be a doctor back then), but I think she would be really proud to see the woman she would become. She would also be so excited to see all of the adventures coming her way.”

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

“Keep an open mind when studying religion. Students sometimes get stuck in their own beliefs so much that they miss the beauty of others. Keep yourself open and let new and exciting beliefs and cultures affect you and help you grow. To any student who doubts themselves, I always like to say that if I can do it, you can absolutely do it too. Anyone who finds a passion and pursues is with all of their beings will find that success.

More students should consider the religion major because it helps to reach the core of who a person is. Faith plays an enormous impact on both the public sphere and personal life. Knowing more about it and being able to competently discuss faith opens so many doors for connecting with others. Plus, you can make it your own. There are so many diverse classes that no matter who you are, you will find something that sparks your interest.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because the second I stepped onto this campus, I felt welcome. I felt like I mattered, and I wanted to be a part of the community that could help the next generation of incoming students feel the same way. I also loved the diversity in studies, the small classes, and of course the lake!”