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Sociology

Student Voices

  • Submitted photo

Trevor Wiles ‘14

Hometown

Antioch, Ill.

Major(s)

Sociology

Minor(s)

Criminal Justice

Favorite spot on campus

“I have always held a soft spot for the benches by the Kissing Rock. My worst nights have been made better by sitting on those benches listening to the waves crash against the rocks.”

Ask Trevor Wiles why he applied to Carthage, and he’ll say it just felt right. Well, that and “its academic excellence, passionate professors, pristine view of the lake, and engaging residence life.” He’s now majoring in sociology with a minor in criminal justice.

“In my mind there is nothing more important than attempting to understand the social world,” Trevor said. “The Sociology Department at Carthage gives me the tools to do so, and the drive to expand upon my skill sets.”

He loves that the department’s faculty encourage students to speak their minds in class. “The professors engage the class in such a way as to bring out the brilliance in every student. Most of the classes are discussion-based.”  

While the courses come with a lot of work, that work builds toward something. “The bulk of the work is readings, which substantially contribute to the student’s base of knowledge,” he said. “There is no busy work in this department.”  

After Trevor graduates, he hopes to attend law school and become a lawyer. “I also hope to work in the realm of advocacy campaigns and possibly become a professor or a judge at some point.”  

Career goal

“I plan to attend law school and become a lawyer. I also hope to work in the realm of advocacy campaigns and possibly become a professor or a judge at some point.”

Favorite professor

“The beauty of the Sociology Department is that this question is without a doubt impossible to answer. I could proclaim Rick Matthews for his dynamic and energetic style of teaching, Bill Miller for his lovable quirkiness and brilliance, Ellen Hauser for her passion and dedication to foreign affairs, Wayne Thompson for his dedication to mentoring his students, Stephen Lyng for his ability to navigate the labyrinth that is social theory and somehow still manage to make it teachable, or Michelle Stander for her approach to building passion in the hearts of her sociology students. To put it simply, there are a great number of brilliant and wonderful teachers here at Carthage.”

Favorite class

“My favorite sociology class to date would have to be Juvenile Delinquency.” 

Toughest class

“I would argue that Logic of Sociological Inquiry is perhaps the hardest class that I have ever taken in the Sociology Department.”

Campus involvement

“I am the president of the pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta, captain of the Mock Trial team, and president of ONE. I am also a resident assistant, a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, an honors students, and am proud to call myself a Phi Kap.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“Winning my first Outstanding Attorney Award while at a competition for Mock Trial.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“How quickly time flies while in college will always be the biggest surprise and mystery. I cannot express how much I will miss being here once I have moved on.”  

Advice for other students considering your major

“Do the reading as it is assigned and do all of it. I cannot begin to tell how many times I have seen a student neglect their reading only to find that the class had suddenly become ‘impossible.’ Sociology is doable, but the time has to be put in to do it. Also, when writing a term paper, be hesitant when picking the path least traveled. Common topics may seem redundant, but the professors are grading your ability to formulate a social argument, not your ability to produce original work. You have time to do that!”

Writer

Kasey Dallman ‘14
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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