An active member of both the History and Modern Language Departments, Aaron Freeman has made strong connections with faculty, completed and presented research, studied abroad at three universities in Santiago de Chile in 2018, and traveled to Guatemala on two occasions, once on a J-Term study tour in 2017 and again on an independent study in January of 2019.
Aaron is involved in the Association of Carthage Education Students, Carthage Meditation Club, Student Government, and Carthage WAVE Radio. Through the WAVE, Aaron records and produces a podcast featuring members of the local community titled “A Free Man’s Podcast.”
After taking Professor Stephanie Mitchell’s course Issues in Caribbean History, Aaron was able to become an embedded tutor for other students enrolled in the class. With this opportunity, Aaron conducted a field trip to the local school district where he and his students taught a bilingual lesson in Caribbean History. “The objective of this activity was to have the Caribbean History students cement their learning by teaching what they have learned while contributing to community outreach and support for bilingual and multicultural education.” Continuing his devotion to tutoring, Aaron has since served as a Spanish and History general tutor as well as a Supplemental Instruction Leader for South American History and Mexican History.
Aaron has applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to return to Santiago de Chile in 2020 and hopes to further develop his History thesis research on international propaganda during the Cold War.
“The biggest surprise that I have had so far has been the sheer number of opportunities for me to grow.”
“I have started working towards a career in international journalism in the Americas. I have published works through Latin American News Digest during that time, and plan to work for a Chilean publication if I return to Santiago in 2020. Still, I am always considering my prospects for a career in dual-language education.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“This is a two-way tie. Professor Stephanie Mitchell, our resident Latin American-ist in the History Department, is singularly responsible for my pursuit of a History degree. Her teaching practices are advanced and interesting; she fosters engagement and builds a sense of reciprocal responsibility with her students. Edward Montanaro, professor of Spanish and Economics, has helped me so much in my academic and career planning since I attended his J-Term study tour to Guatemala. I would be totally lost without his guidance over these last three years.”
“The best experience that I have had in a class was when I served as the Supplemental Instruction Leader of Prof. Mitchell’s South American History while enrolled in the course myself. That was one of my most challenging undertakings, and I benefited immensely from it.”
“I have been involved in the leadership of two clubs for three years. I have served as the vice president and president of the Association of Carthage Education Students, also as their representative in Student Government, and as the president of the Carthage Meditation Club. In Student Government, I was the head of the Student Outreach Committee. This upcoming year I will serve these two clubs again, as well as serving as the treasurer of the Carthage WAVE Radio organization.”
“Prof. Mitchell and Prof. Montanaro’s History of Mexico course is a historically challenging course, and it was no different when I took it. Aside from the daunting reading list and a seemingly unending stream of assessments, I was assigned the most difficult role in the Mexican Revolution Simulation activity, essentially a role playing game over the course of four class periods. I managed to escape that course with my mental health and GPA intact… but my outlooks on politics, history, and society would never be the same.”
Opportunities at Carthage
“Travel has been the single greatest opportunity that Carthage has presented for me. Overall, in the four years of my college experience, I was abroad on educational opportunities for seven months.”
“I also got the unique opportunity to take my group of Caribbean History students out to a local school for an activity when I was the embedded tutor for that class. The students led a reading and discussion session about Cuban-American relations in a bilingual 8th grade classroom at Bullen Middle School. The objective of this activity was to have the Caribbean History students cement their learning of the Cuba unit by teaching what they have learned. I presented my findings from this activity at the 2017 Celebration of Scholars, and plan to do more similar activities in the future.”
“Yes, many. These scholarships, in their dollar amounts, mean nothing to me compared to the opportunities that they opened up for me and the experiences that I have had because of them. The presidential scholarships, the merit scholarships, and the Kenosha resident scholarships have contributed the most to my access to a meaningful education at Carthage.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Some of my favorite times at Carthage have been in class or at scholarly events like Celebration of Scholars. I also enjoy the time that I get in the Madrigrano Hall studio to record A Free Man’s Podcast, a conversation and discussion centered podcast featuring members of the Carthage and Kenosha community, which features on the Carthage WAVE Radio website @ wave.carthage.edu.”
Favorite spot on campus
Biggest surprise so far
“The biggest surprise that I have had so far has been the sheer number of opportunities for me to grow myself in various ways at Carthage, be it career-building, attribute-building, personal growth and maturation, the expansion of mental horizons, and even physical fitness and my body’s overall performance.”
What would your 8-year-old self think of you now?
“The 8-year-old me was caught up in Legos and junior sports, so I can’t say much about his opinion of the complex academic and personal experiences that I have had through Carthage. What I can say is that if I had known then just how far the bilingual education that I was receiving would have taken me–to México after high school, to Guatemala last January, and to Chile next Spring–I would have worked a whole lot harder through that program and through high school. Still, I love where I am and who I am, and I would not change a thing about what has gotten me here.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“For modern language students: Never let your language get out of practice, and if you want to take your learning to the next level, become a tutor. For history students: Buy your books early. Start reading them during the summer. Trust me.”
“Students should consider studying history because the practice of observing past actions and events as a local, national, or global society teaches us where we have been, which is essential to determining why we are where we are and reasoning where we should go from here. The consideration of a language major speaks for itself, especially for a student of the humanities. If the goal is to learn from and understand this world and its inhabitants, as if it were a book to be read, then it would hinder one to only interpret a small portion of the text.”
“I chose Carthage for many financial reasons–proximity to my home and abundant scholarships–but the main academic reason was the low faculty-to-student ratio. I am still attending Carthage because of the amazing faculty and the multitudes of travel opportunities.”