Allyssa Vargas

Class Year



Oswego, Illinois





“The community atmosphere, small class sizes, professor and faculty relationships, and state of the art nursing program is ultimately what lead to me to choose Carthage. I have never once regretted that decision!”

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 in Nursing degree. I am very excited for all that is to come and to 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?

Professor Margaret Wentzell is one of the professors I’ve had who has truly changed my life. She was the instructor for both of my anatomy courses, and she taught me so much. She is so full of knowledge and light, it was an honor to be a student of hers. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without having her as a professor.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class 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

“I currently work as the head student ambassador for the Office of Admissions. My job is to schedule and give campus tours, speak to prospective students and their families, and organize the visit days and 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.

“I am also a member of Alpha Chi Omega and serve on the e-board as our new member educator! My sorority has been an amazing experiences and has brought me many 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 four other students performed a seventeen-minute long speech highlighting all of our projects for the year. It was an amazing opportunity for me to grow as a leader and to 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 was Pathophysiology. It was one of the first nursing-specific courses we took as sophomores. Learning to adjust to the National Council Licensure Examination (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

“Nursing majors are involved in clinical opportunities beginning our sophomore year. We started with fundamentals, and I am currently in my mental health rotation! During clinicals, we have worked in both the simulation lab and off-site at hospitals, clinics, and other care facilities.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I had the incredible opportunity to attend a J-Term study tour to India with Prof. Wentzell and her husband. This was truly the most amazing experience I have ever had. The title of the course was Health Care in India: Traditional and Non-Traditional Healing. The trip was 16 days long, and we spent the first five days exploring the bustling city of New Delhi. We then spent 11 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, learned about different religious beliefs and how it impacted their health care and ways of life. I personally focused my study on 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. We also got to try delicious food, see the Taj Mahal, and even ride camels!”


“I was selected as one of the winners of the Presidential Scholarship program and was granted a scholarship that covered 75 percent of my tuition for all four years. Winning this scholarship was extremely meaningful to me. All of the hard work I put in during high school payed off and allowed me to be able to continue my education at Carthage, which was always my number one choice.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Over the past two years, I created so many amazing memories that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. One of my favorite memories is when a few of my friends and I 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.

“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 taking 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.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is Starbucks. Who doesn’t love using their meal points on coffee? It’s also just a super fun place to study and be with friends!”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise for me is 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’ve connected with, and memories I’ve created have 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 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 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?

“Work hard and never lose sight of the end goal. Nursing school is definitely hard and challenges you in so many ways. I have definitely wondered what I’ve gotten myself into at times, but then I remember what I will be doing after graduation. Nursing is a career that takes a special and dedicated person to work through, so just keep that RN-to-BSN title in mind as you work through school to get to that end destination!”

Why Carthage?

“I am the oldest of three, so the college search process was new for myself and for my parents. When I first started, I was unsure 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 led to me to choose Carthage, and I have never once regretted that decision!”