Daniela Avilez ?21

Daniela Avilez

Class Year



Cary, Illinois


English w/ Creative Writing


Studio Art

“Carthage promised the most help in all aspects: financial, education, and success after graduation.”

Daniela Avilez, ’21

Career goal

“Practically speaking, I would like to work in a publishing house or for an editor. Idealistically, I would want to start selling art, nothing grand or official, and I would also start writing more prose.”

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

Professor Shannon Brennan has been the one with the biggest impact. On my first day in class with her, I could tell right away that she enjoys what she does, as a professor and as an advisor. She likes to get us all hyped for projects. She tries to get me to feel more confident as a writer because I’m always uncertain about the quality of my work. When I was struggling to find employment on campus, she actually took me to The Aspire Center herself and helped me set up a meeting with one of their specialists in order to get the job I have now! I feel lucky to have her as my professor and advisor.”

Favorite class

“My art classes are my favorite. I didn’t become a studio art minor until I transferred to Carthage and had my first advising meeting with Prof. Brennan. Art has always been something that I loved, and if I didn’t choose Carthage, I would have gone to an art school. I’m glad that I’m now pursuing two of my passions, writing and art.”

Toughest class

“I would have to say Senior Seminar is tough, but I think any senior would agree. It’s a lot of work to get done, and it gets harder when multiple deadlines are together. It can feel overwhelming at times, but the professors are understanding.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“I haven’t gone on any J-Term trips, but I did run the J-Term blog this past semester! Under Director of Content Development and Strategy Tracy Parker’s tutelage, I pieced together the photos and entries of every volunteers’ wonderful travels. I guess it was the next best thing to actually being there.”


“I’ve received automatic merit scholarships, such as the Springfield scholarship, the Multicultural Grant, and the Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship. Recently, I was endowed the Altera Scholarship, and I didn’t even know it until Professor Alyson Kiesel emailed me! I seldom win anything, so I was surprised to have earned this one without even needing to compete against the other recipients. We all did great and showed promise as English majors.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“One favorite memory is when I added my minor because it was something I didn’t think I could ever pursue professionally. Also, running the J-Term blog was pretty fun. There was also one time when my friend and I went to Five Below because she wanted to get foam toys to pretend they were swords for the “Romeo and Juliet” scene we had to act out in front of class. It was pretty fun whacking each other with foam; the whole class had a laugh at how silly it was.”

Favorite spot on campus

“Anywhere by the lake. I love going by the shoreline or sitting in the red chairs and just enjoy the view.”

Biggest surprise so far

“In spite of all the craziness in the world, everything still feels kind of normal, which is pretty surprising given what’s going on (specifically the pandemic).”

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

“If I was eight looking at myself now, I’d think I was crazy. I didn’t like reading and writing as child, so I’d probably tell myself ‘what are you doing?’”

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

“If this is something you love, do it. It’s not always good to be practical all the time. You’ll miss out on the things that actually make you happy.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because it was far away enough away for me to be a little independent (or at least think that I am) but also not so far that I couldn’t visit home on the weekends. Carthage promised the most help in all aspects: financial, education, and success after graduation. I liked that the campus is small and not spread across a city. And of course, the cherry on top is the beautiful view of the lake. Whether it’s serenely still or high waves, the water looks incredible every day.”