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Student Voices

  • Ann O'Leary '14 was featured in a Student Voice.
    Ann O'Leary '14 was featured in a Student Voice.
    Submitted photo

Ann O’Leary ‘14


Evansville, Wis.


Biology, Neuroscience



Ann O’Leary learned at an early age that she loved neuroscience and biology. Being able to double major in both subjects at the college level is one of the reasons Ann chose to come to Carthage.

“I have always had a love for science and a fascination for the brain,” she said. “Being able to major in both biology and neuroscience is something that I didn’t think was possible before I visited Carthage.”

When she arrived on campus for her official tour, it was love at first sight, she said.

“Carthage felt like my home the moment I stepped on campus. The night before my official tour, I attended the theater performance ‘Lysistrata’ with my mom. It was Greek Night for the campus and all of the sorority and fraternities were there. The students in attendance were dressed up in togas and the campus spirit was alive. I knew from that moment that Carthage was the school for me.”

What she loves about the Biology and Neuroscience departments: “There is not an endpoint to science,” she says. “We will never know everything that there is to know, which is exactly what I love about biology. One doesn’t just learn about evolution when studying biology, because biology itself is ever evolving. Carthage’s biology program is unsurpassed, and it is truly preparing me for my career in medicine. The biology courses here teach not only the fundamentals, but also keep students abreast on the groundbreaking research being conducted worldwide. I am a life-long learner with a passion for gaining as much knowledge as I can, which is why I chose to study biology at Carthage.”

Favorite aspects of the Biology Department: “I think that both departments offer strong personal connections with the professors. Without their support and guidance, I wouldn’t be where I am today. They never make you feel like you have to tackle a tough topic alone and are always more than willing to help.”

Career goal

“I plan on graduating college and attending graduate school, then working somewhere within the healthcare field.”

Favorite professor

“That is a really tough question. All of the professors here at Carthage have been great so it’s hard to just choose one. I’ve really enjoyed courses with Dan Miller, Professor Koudelka, and Dr. Rad. Each of these professors has given me encouragement and advice not only pertaining to the class but also my career aspirations. They are professors who teach more than what is in the textbook.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far has been Research Methods in Neuroscience. How many undergrads get to say they’ve done a surgery? It was a great learning experience and a lot of fun at the same time.”


“I just finished an internship with Covance Inc. I worked in the Biomarker Center of Excellence, using flow cytometry and differential centrifugation to analyze and isolate microparticles from human blood. I focused on the intra-individual variability and the inter-individual variability to create a standardized protocol for the company to follow.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I’ve been able to do rat surgery as an undergrad, which is an amazing opportunity,” she said. “I’ve also traveled to Nicaragua over J-Term to work in clinics alongside doctors. This experience allowed me to explore the medical field more to guide me in my future career. In addition, Carthage’s liberal arts focus has allowed me to explore other areas that I enjoy such as acting.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off of the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning. I’ve also loved hanging out with my friends and of course going to the dances for my sorority. And I’ll never forget getting my bid from Alpha Chi Omega.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Study hard but enjoy the little things. Don’t get so bogged down that you forget to enjoy the college experience! Also get to know your professors. They are a wealth of knowledge, not only regarding classes, but also life.”


Ben Schroeder ‘13
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2018), 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.

    • Beyond the campus boundaries, dinosaur fossils are prepared at the Carthage Institute of Paleontolgoy in Kenosha. A lengthy pterodactyl flight away, Finca Esperanza serves as a base camp for J-Term medical and water quality missions to Nicaragua. 

    • 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, 2017 and 2018, 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. 5 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 …