Joel Branson ?23

Joel Branson

Class Year



Saint Joseph, Illinois


International Political Economy


Spanish and Chinese

“International Political Economics (IPE) is a very well-developed program. We have a brilliant collection of professors with years of experience behind them and who are able to support the information they are providing for their students.”

Joel Branson, ’23

Career goal

“After I graduate from Carthage, I would like to work for the International Trade Organization, as part of the United Nations.”

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

“Professor Darwin Tsen from the Chinese Department has made a significant impact on my life. I’ve had a class with Prof. Tsen every semester I’ve been at Carthage, and he has always been so friendly and approachable towards his students. I think the vast majority of the faculty members I’ve formed relationships with have shown that they want what is best for their students and always push them to succeed.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class so far has been International Relations with Professor Jeffrey Roberg. In the class, I learned a lot about politics and social theories. It was a class that allowed me to develop my own opinions on issues, and it was very interesting overall.”

Campus involvement

“I was involved with the men’s soccer team, and I’m also a resident assistant on campus.”

Toughest class

“My hardest class has been Introductory Chinese with Prof. Tsen. I decided to pick up an additional language when I came to Carthage, and I found that learning Chinese effectively required a lot of work outside of the classroom, but I’ve come to love the language and love the process of learning it.”


“I received the Springfield Scholarship upon coming to Carthage. To me, this serves as a great reward for hard work and a motivation for me to continue working hard in the future.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I’ve loved the random funny moments I’ve had with my friends in the David A. Straz Jr. Center conference rooms, such as calling our parents to ask them silly trivia questions. Moments like those with people you’ve met while here are experiences that make Carthage such a great place!”

Favorite spot on campus

“My own room! After a long day, there’s nothing like coming back and throwing myself on my bed and relaxing before I start homework.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise has been the amount of kind and amazing people I’ve encountered here at Carthage. It seems like everyone here is willing to smile and say hello when you walk by them on Campus Drive.”

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would be surprised I’m not studying to become a chiropractor like my dad. He’ll find out soon enough that he doesn’t like science or blood, and he would hate medical school.”

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

International Political Economics (IPE) is a very well developed program. We have a brilliant collection of professors with years of experience behind them and who are able to support the information they are providing for their students. I’d advise others to prepare themselves for the difficulty of some of the classes required for the major. Embrace it!”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because I liked the small class sizes. It felt very personal, and I liked that my professors would always know my name.”