Conner Plagge

Class Year

’21

Hometown

Aitkin, Minnesota

Major(s)

Geographic Information Science and Geoscience

Minor(s)

Data Science

“The Carthage faculty in the Geospatial Science Department have helped me to become a more independent thinker and helped me to think outside the box. They were very willing to help me with any questions, and they taught in ways that made learning fun.”

Conner Plagge, ’21

Career goal

“I hope to enter the job force working with Geographic Information Science (GIS) and its applications. In the future, I might go back to get a master’s degree in urban planning or GIS.”

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

“The Carthage faculty in the Geospatial Science Department have helped me to become a more independent thinker and helped me to think outside the box. They were very willing to help me with any questions, and they taught in ways that made learning fun.”

Favorite class

“My favorite course at Carthage is Applied Projects in GIS, which is taught by Professor Wenjie Sun. I liked it because of the variety of projects that simulate what a real job in the field would be like.”

Campus involvement

“I am a member of the Model United Nations (MUN) and the Carthage Republicans Club. I am also a member of the first-year honor society Alpha Lambda Delta and the geography honor society Gamma Theta Upsilon.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class at Carthage has been Data Science with Professor Erlan Wheeler. I was definitely a rookie when it came to computers at the time and how to program. It was also a very demanding course, but I think that is what helped me focus on the course and do well in it.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I have worked for Aitkin County as a park laborer using GIS aspects, and I was able to be a GIS Intern for Crow Wing County last summer. That internship showed me all the interesting uses of GIS, and I was able to gain experience working for the public. I am also a Geospatial Department fellow at Carthage.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Recently, I worked on an undergraduate research project with Professor Matthew Zorn and Prof. Sun. We are using drones to capture GIS data around the Kenosha area and then integrating that into the courses taught at Carthage.”

Scholarships

“I received the Springfield scholarship and the Vorpahl Endowed Scholarship. These have made a huge difference for me and have eased the burden of how much I had to borrow. They also show me that my hard work has paid off, and they remind me to do better.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Attending a MUN conference in downtown Chicago. It was fun to explore the city and experience my first ever Model UN conference. Plus, I got to know my classmates better and meet a bunch of new people.”

Biggest surprise so far

“My biggest surprise has been the amount of opportunities at Carthage. There is always something going on around campus, and there are so many ways to get involved.”

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

“I think 8-year-old me would be very surprised. My dream job was to be a zookeeper, so I think following a completely different career path would be quite the surprise.”

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

“Other students should consider GIS or geoscience because it helps people understand how the world works and helps develop skills that can be used in other fields. My advice would be to use the on-campus resources, like peer tutors, to help them if they have questions or are just confused in general.”

Why Carthage?

“I came to Carthage as a freshman with an undecided major. I thought there was a wide variety of academic fields at Carthage that would let me explore which areas interested me so that I could decide what I ultimately wanted to major in.”