Allyssa Vargas

Class Year



Oswego, Illinois





“The biggest surprise for me so far would have to be how much Carthage feels like home. Before going away for college, I never pictured myself loving a place so much.”

Allyssa Vargas, ’22

Career goal

“Post-graduation, my plan is to work as a registered nurse with a specialty in OB. My hope is to move to either Chicago or Milwaukee and start gaining professional experience and working right away! Eventually, I also plan on going back to school to receive my Master of Science of Nursing (MSN) degree. I am very excited for all that is to come and eventually impact the lives of patients by providing them with the best care possible.”

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

Margaret Wentzell is one of the professors I’ve had who has truly changed my life here at Carthage. She was the instructor for both anatomy courses of the nursing program and taught me so much. She is a woman so full of knowledge and light, it was an honor to be a student of hers. On top of being my professor, she also organized and ran a short term J-term study abroad trip to India in January is 2020. I was given the privilege of attending this trip, and it was truly the most amazing experience I have ever had. I would be where I am right now without having her as a professor.”

Favorite class

“So far, my favorite class at Carthage has been Anatomy and Physiology. While the class was challenging and very time consuming, it served as one of the main foundational pillars of the nursing practice. I learned more from that one course than I ever could have imagined and still refer back to my notes from it to this day!”

Campus involvement

“As a third-year student, I can say that I am VERY involved on campus. One of the main things I am involved in is the admissions office. I currently word as the Head Student Ambassador, so my job is to schedule/give all the tours that go out on campus, speak to prospective students and their families, and organize the visit days & scholarship competitions that take place on campus. I absolutely love working as an ambassador, being able to represent Carthage and share my experiences with prospective families is something that I will never get tired of doing. In addition to this I am also a member of one of the national sororities. on campus. I am in Alpha Chi Omega and also serve on e-board as our New Member Educator! My sorority has been one of the most amazing experiences and has brought me so many of my life-long friends! I have made amazing memories that will last a lifetime and have also grown as a person and as a leader! I am also an active member of Enactus, an entrepreneurial service club on campus. My freshman year I had the opportunity to represent our organization as a speaker at the national competition in Kansas City, MO. Myself and 4 other students performed a 17-minute long speech highlighting all of our projects for the year. It was an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a leader and gain public speaking experience! I am also a member of CANS, which is the Carthage Association of Nursing Students! As you can probably tell, I do not have a whole lot of free time but I love staying busy and wouldn’t give up being a part of these organizations for the world!”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage would have to be Pathophysiology. This was one of the first Nursing specific courses we took as sophomores. Learning to adjust to NCLEX style questions was challenging at first because they are different from every kind of test or quiz we have taken in the past. However, our professors worked alongside us to help us adjust and I ended up with an A in the course”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I currently have not had any internships, however being a nursing major we have been involved in clinical opportunities since Sophomore year. We started with fundamentals, and I am currently in my mental health rotation! During clinical we have worked in both the simulation lab and off-site at hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Last year as a sophomore, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a J-term study tour in India, led by biology professor Margaret Wentzell. This was truly the most amazing experience I have ever been given. The title of the course was Health Care in India: Traditional and Non-Traditional Healing. The trip was 16 days, and we spent the first five days exploring the bustling city of New Delhi. We then spent 11 full days in the ancient city of Varanasi, located along the Ganges River in Northern India. Throughout the trip, we all became acclimated with beautiful culture, and learned about different religious beliefs and how they impacted their health care and ways of life. I personally focused on a study of yoga and the benefits it has on both the body and the mind/spirit. I was able to talk with the natives and even attend a yoga class by a native instructor on the roof of his studio that overlooked the river and the rest of the town. Not to mention we got to try delicious food, see the Taj Mahal, and even ride camels! After this trip, I was definitely bit by the travel bug and hope to participate in two more J-term study tours before graduating. I was accepted into the study tour going to Nicaragua to practice clinical work, and I could not be more excited!”


“Prior to coming to Carthage, I applied to compete in the presidential scholarship and was selected to participate in the competition that included writing a timed essay and interviewing with a faculty member. I ended up being selected as one of the winners and was granted a scholarship that covered 75% of tuition for all four years. Winning this scholarship was extremely meaningful to me. All of the hard work I put in during high school paid off and allowed me to be able to continue my education at Carthage, which was always my number 1 choice.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I have had the time of my life at Carthage. Over the past two years, I have created so many amazing memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. One of my favorite memories would have to be my freshman year when a few of my friends took the train down to Chicago for the weekend! There’s a train station right in Kenosha that takes you directly into the city, so we took advantage of it and it was so much fun! Another favorite memory was Bid Day my freshman year when I accepted my bid into Alpha Chi Omega and got to know all of the girls in the sorority. And lastly, my first day of clinicals my sophomore year is another memory that I hold close to my heart. After preparing through classes for a year and a half, finally being able to put on our scrubs and practice in the simulation lab was a super fun day! There are so many other memories I have that choosing just one is too hard!”

Favorite spot on campus

“I have to say that my favorite spot on campus would have to be Starbucks… who doesn’t love being able to use their meal points on coffee?! It’s also just a super fun place to study and study with friends!”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise for me so far would have to be how much Carthage feels like home. Before going away for college, I never pictured myself loving a place so much. After being here for two years though, the friends I’ve made, professors I have connected with, and memories I have created have truly made it a home away from home. The Carthage community feels like one big family. Anyone you talk to will tell you that it’s impossible to walk down Campus Drive without someone saying hi or asking to grab lunch or dinner. After I got situated here at Carthage I have never looked back!”

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

“My 8-year old self would probably look at my current career path and think “Oh my gosh you’re actually doing it!”. I have known that I wanted to be a nurse since I was a young girl, so my younger self would probably look at where I’m at now and be incredibly proud and excited for me.”

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

Nursing is an amazing profession that will always be in high demand and is always changing and growing. Working as a nurse you will save lives, bring happiness to individuals and their families, and comfort to those in need. Additionally, there is always room to grow, and it is a very flexible career. I am the kind of person that is always looking for more, and the sky is the limit with nursing!

Why Carthage?

“I am the oldest of three, so the college search process was new for both myself and my parents. When I first started, I was unsure of what kind of school I wanted to end up at. However, once I visited Carthage, I absolutely fell in love. I instantly felt a connection and sense of home with the campus. The community atmosphere, small class sizes, professor and faculty relationships, and state of the art nursing program is what ultimately what lead to me to choose Carthage and I have never once regretted that decision!”