Yana Astter ?21

Yana Astter

Class Year



Johnsburg, Illinois





“If you are looking for a place that is supportive and full of amazing students and faculty, then chemistry is the perfect major for you. I truly feel like I have a family in the Chemistry Department.”

Yana Astter, ’21

Career goal

“I hope to go to graduate school and become a physician-scientist.”

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

Professor Christine Blaine was one of the first professors I had at Carthage, and she is one of the nicest and funniest teachers I have ever had. She is super helpful and kind, and she really encouraged me to pursue multiple opportunities at in and outside of Carthage.

Professor John Kirk has also had an impact on my life. I started my research with him through the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE), and he gave me lots of advice. I look up to him as a mentor and appreciate everything he does for his students.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage so far has been Organic Chemistry. Although it is a challenging class, I love the connections I have built and how much I have been able to learn and connect to my previous chemistry knowledge.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in Chemistry Club and Pre-Health Club. I initially joined these clubs because of the sense of community these clubs brought. They were really welcoming and allowed me to grow strong connections with the faculty as well as other students with similar interests. I am on the executive board for both Chemistry Club and Pre-Health Club, and I love meeting with members every week and being a resource for people on campus.”

Toughest class

“My toughest classes have definitely been the General Physics classes. There was a lot of new and interesting information presented, and there were many different things to keep track of throughout the classes. Even though these classes were tough, I was able to succeed with the help of my peers and professors.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I’ve been accepted as a research intern in a research experience for undergraduates at Johns Hopkins University. I was able to apply to this program because of the valuable experiences I have gained at Carthage and will be able to further my skills at this research opportunity.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I participated in the SURE Program, which was an incredible experience that gave me insights into research. I now plan on pursuing research as a part of my career and am continuing to participate in the same research I did during the SURE Program. I also presented at the 2018 SURE Presentations at Carthage, the 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Physical Sciences, Math, and Computer Science at Washington University. I am planning on presenting at the National American Chemical Society Meeting in Orlando in March 2019, and also at Celebration of Scholars at Carthage in Spring 2019!”


“I received the highest merit scholarship for my ACT and GPA. This scholarship actually gave me a chance to attend college and pursue my interests. I couldn’t be more grateful to be given scholarship money and follow my dreams here at Carthage.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Some of my favorite Carthage memories are definitely due the connections and relationships I have built here with my friends and faculty. I feel like I have a family here, and I enjoy spending time with everyone whether it be at the President’s Ball or keeping each other company when we are working on homework.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I love being in The Tower and facing the lake! I love being outside of my room and being able to focus but also have a stunning view when I work.”

Biggest surprise so far

“One of the biggest surprises is the amount of opportunities that are presented here. I would have never expected to be where I am now, but I am also really happy to have had all of the resources Carthage has provided. I feel like I have been able to grow a lot as a person and explore interests in areas I would have never thought to explore.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would probably think I am a giant nerd. I was not a fan of science at the time, so I would definitely not like what I am currently doing. I think when I was 8 I wanted to be a doctor, but clearly did not know that it was necessary to like science to become one.”

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

“Other students should consider chemistry because of the amazing community we have in the Chemistry Department. The professors and students are so kind and knowledgeable, and the connections you will build with them are unprecedented.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because it had everything I was looking for in a college. I wanted to be a part of a smaller school and grow relationships with peers and faculty. I also wanted to be involved at Carthage and chose Carthage because of the number of opportunities the institution presented.”