Haley Aichholzer

Haley Aichholzer

Class Year

’21

Hometown

Morton Grove, Illinois

Major(s)

English

Minor(s)

Secondary Education

“Carthage welcomed me with open arms and created an environment in which I felt safe, empowered, and cared about.”

Haley Aichholzer, ’21

Career goal

“I want to be a high school English teacher, while also coaching gymnastics. However, I have debated a career in firefighting and am still considering that path. I try to leave my options open, with the understanding that nothing is set in stone, and there are so many amazing opportunities life could bring.”

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

“When I entered Carthage, I took a class with Professor Annette Duncan, titled Interpreting Literature. Prof. Duncan showed up to class every day with a smile on her face, thought-provoking materials, and a teaching style filled with kindness and compassion. I remember watching Prof. Duncan teach, thinking to myself, ‘I want to be just like her.’ It sounds cheesy, but it’s the truth.

“I have continued to take classes with Prof. Duncan and am lucky enough to have her as my advisor. She is a professor who makes every book, lesson, and story impactful and important. She is empathetic, understanding, and has an unwavering passion for English. I would not be where I am without her and am so thankful she continues to be a part of my journey.”

Favorite class

“My sophomore year of college, I took American Literary Traditions with Professor Shannon Brennan. I spent more time reading, writing papers, and re-writing papers than I ever had previously. At first, I was overwhelmed but quickly realized all the work was worth it because I was learning valuable lessons about history, writing, and literature. Prof. Brennan was a guiding light through all the difficult moments with her radiant positivity and eagerness to help and teach us. At the end of the semester, we had to turn in a portfolio that consisted of every paper we had written. When I finalized the portfolio, I felt extremely accomplished and proud of my work.”

Campus involvement

“One of the best parts of being at Carthage is all the wonderful opportunities that accompany being a student. I am the vice president and secretary of Sigma Tau Delta, the English fraternity on campus. In that position, I help facilitate meetings and plan events with the other eBoard members of the club. This year, I am a resident assistant in The Oaks, which is a job that I absolutely love, and has led me to meet some of my best friends. I am also a writer for the Office of Performing and Visual Arts. I write press releases, Bridge posts, interviews, and after stories for performances held by the Fine Arts Department!”

Toughest class

“Before becoming an English major, I was an athletic training major. My freshman year, I took a class titled Structural Kinesiology. Although the material was interesting and thought-provoking, I had a very difficult time conceptualizing it. I did learn a lot from the class, but it made me realize athletic training was not for me and that I needed to try something different. I am thankful for that class because it led me to where I am today.”

Scholarships

“I was awarded the Founders Scholarship for academic achievement. I also received the Anton B. and Adele R. Altera Scholarship, which was a huge honor. Receiving the scholarship gave me a boost of confidence in my English abilities and pushed me to continue working hard and striving for my goals.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I absolutely love playing beach volleyball, especially with my fellow RAs. During training this year, we played a ridiculous amount of volleyball, and my teammates never failed to leave me in hysterical laughter. I always left the court with a giant smile on my face and gratitude for the amazing people I was getting to spend time with.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus would have to be the outdoor classroom. There is something so beautiful and unique about learning outside and having Lake Michigan only a few feet away from you.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I have been blown away by the incredible opportunities and professors at Carthage. Entering college, I was sure nothing could match the happiness I felt in high school. Yet, by involving myself in clubs and activities, along with having fantastic professors, my first year of school was wonderful.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would probably be surprised, in many ways, of where I am now. I did not expect to spend my life pursuing a career in English, but even at the young age of eight, I loved writing. Also, I was incredibly shy and reserved. I am still a bit quiet, but I have opened up, and it has given me more opportunities than I ever imagined possible. So, I think along with being surprised, my 8-year-old self would be proud.”

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

“When I started my path as an English major, I did not know what to expect. I will admit, I was nervous. However, there truly was nothing to be worried about. Each and every class in the major brings with it material that is important and intriguing. The professors are always present and willing to help; they want you to succeed.”

Why Carthage?

“I had a very difficult time choosing a college to attend. I visited multiple but did not feel connected to any of them. The second I arrived on Carthage’s campus, I felt like I was home. I had heard great things about the school, professors, and opportunities from a family friend and knew Carthage would help me succeed in all of my goals.”