Caitlin Zant

Class Year



Peoria, Ill.


History and Geography


Geographic Information Sciences

Caitlin Zant ’12, grew up surrounded by a love of history and travel. Her parents, both teachers, inspired her to explore the world around her. Having had a strong interest in history and geography most of her life, Caitlin made the decision to pursue these areas in college.

“I feel like I always knew that I would be studying some form of these subjects in college,” she said. “To me, history and geography go hand in hand. I have always been interested in knowing why something happened and what led to that event. I usually don’t see a huge distinction between the two, as everything that happens throughout history has its own geography and aspects of geography are historical in and of themselves.”

Since coming to Carthage, Caitlin has explored the many unique opportunities that the College has to offer. She has grown to love J-Term, a month-long intensive study term where students have the chance to take courses that step out of the realm of traditional learning either through on-campus classes or off-campus study tours.

“My freshman year I took a class on the history of pirates, and to this day, it is one of my favorite classes I’ve had,” Caitlin said of one J-Term experience. “My interest in maritime history and Colonial Britain have stemmed from that class, among other British history classes I have been able to take. And it was just fun. Pirates for a month: How can you go wrong?”

After graduation, Caitlin plans to attend graduate school and make even more connections between history and geography. One of her best assets during her graduate program search have been her Carthage professors, who have helped her find answers to her questions and map out plans for her future.

“The relationships with professors and course opportunities that I have had while at Carthage have been wonderful,” Caitlin said. “Being at a small school, you are able to know your professors and they take a personal interest in your academic career and try to help you succeed in whatever way they can.

“In knowing the professors, I feel very much a part of the department, and not like someone who is just taking the classes to get the degree,” she continued. “It creates a close atmosphere and allows us to progress even further in our careers as historians. Also, all of the professors in the department are qualified experts in their field and they are all wonderful teachers. I feel like I have learned so much from them in the last three years, and feel that they have helped me reach a level of academic success that I did not know was possible.”

“Don’t let anyone talk you out of majoring in History. History degrees are one of the most universal degrees to have. It means you can write well, discuss and analyze information. You can do almost anything with a degree in History.”

Caitlin Zant, ’12

Career goal

“I am hoping to attend Graduate School following graduation in something in which I can use my knowledge of History and Geography though what that entails I am not sure of yet. Whatever it is I end up doing I hope that it is something that I love to do.”

Favorite class

“I would have to say the History of Pirates class I took J-Term of my freshman year. It was just a fun class and I learned a lot not only about pirates, but also about British society, why piracy occurred, and the workings of the British Empire during the height of piracy. Being interested in British history, this was great for me, and it was just plain fun.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved in Phi Alpha Theta, the history honors fraternity, as vice president, and Alpha Psi Omega, the theater honors fraternity, as president. I am also a member of the Carthage Neil-Futurist Theater group, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Geography Club.”

Toughest class

“Probably Principals of Computer Science. The class was very interesting, but with math not being my forte, the class was a bit challenging. But I worked through it and came out all right, despite the challenges.”

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

“Take classes you enjoy and work hard in the classes you don’t. And don’t let anyone talk you out of majoring in history and ask you what you are going to do with a degree in history. History degrees are one of the most universal degrees to have. It means you can write well, and discuss and analyze information. You can do almost anything with a degree in history.”