Caytlin Meribela

Class Year

’21

Hometown

Mishawaka, Indiana

Major(s)

History

Minor(s)

Spanish

“My internship at the Kenosha History Center was a great experience! One of the most obvious careers with a history degree is museum curation or archival work, and that is exactly what I got to do!”

Caytlin Meribela, ’21

Career goal

“I hope to return to Latin America to develop my Spanish speaking skills and combine my passion for history with my artistic abilities by returning to college for studio art.”

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

“Professor Stephanie Mitchell is the greatest professor a student could ask for. She pushes students to question their perspectives and engage with one another, both in and outside of the classroom. She also understands that we are human before we are students. She is always concerned for our mental and physical health before our grades. Prof. Mitchell inspires me through her work in the community: her active membership in the church, her help at the detention center navigating immigrants through the system, and her lifelong involvement in the academic world. Her faith in my knowledge and hard work led me to pursue a job as a history tutor, a highly rewarding position. Prof. Mitchell has shaped who I am as an academic, friend, and human being.”

Favorite class

“19th and 20th Century Mexican History is phenomenal! This course is a Carthage Symposium taught by Prof. Mitchell and Professor Edward Montanaro. The class brought in an array of students from all departments, which came in handy when we acted out the 1910 Mexican Revolution. All students were given a character and were free to plot, organize, assassinate, and try to reform Mexico during turbulent times.”

Toughest class

“The hardest class for me was Professor Stephen Udry’s Modern China course. I was surprised by the intensity of the lectures. The 12-page research essay due at the end of the semester was daunting because I have never written such a long or analytical paper. It took a lot of time, effort, coffee, and self-disciple to write the paper and prepare for the in-class short essay exams. In the end, I did well in the course, and I think it really prepared me for the rest of my college career.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“My internship at the Kenosha History Center was a great experience! One of the most obvious careers with a history degree is museum curation or archival work, and that is exactly what I got to do! It was a lovely way to get to know Kenosha better, and the staff was always willing to share knowledge (and sometimes baked goods) with me.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“The annual Holi celebration was a favorite campus activity. Holi is an ancient Hindu festival, also called the Festival of Color, that involves the tossing of colored dyes. The symbol of renewal and friendship could not be truer. The celebration is hosted by Adventures Anonymous, a student org aimed towards students who have studied or plan to study abroad.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is the tutoring office in room 215 of the Hedberg Library. The beautiful plants there always put a smile on my face.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The years have gone by so fast. I feel like freshman move-in day was yesterday, yet graduation feels like tomorrow. Every moment shapes you; do not take any of them for granted.”

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

“I think my younger self would be in love with all the stories I read as a historian.”

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

“Do it! The title of a historian is one of wisdom. The future of history rests among us as a famous quote reads “there is no history, only historians.” As a 2018 study shows, despite a general increase in college enrollment, the number of history majors has dropped more than any other field from 2012 to 2018. A history degree leads to careers in fields like business, journalism, and law. Even presidents like Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush had degrees in history.”

Why Carthage?

“Carthage, for me, is all about location. My hometown is about three hours away, far enough to ensure my independence, but close enough that a weekend trip to visit my dog is possible. Proximity to Chicago was also a driving factor. I have always loved the city, and being only an hour away means I can spend time with my friends from the area, wander the Art Institute, or indulge in a deep-dish pizza.”