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Chemistry

Student Voices

Matthew Gundlach ‘14

Hometown

Oshkosh, Wis.

Major(s)

Chemistry

Minor(s)

Physics, Entrepreneurial Studies of the Natural Sciences

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus has to be down by the lake. I love sitting on the shoreline and listening to the waves. The lake definitely has a tranquility to it that is hard to describe.” 

When Matthew Gundlach was considering Carthage, a tour guide told him about the great relationships that Carthage students have with their professors. “I definitely knew I wanted to come to a school where great relationships were possible,” Matthew said. “Carthage felt like it could be my home.”

Matthew is majoring in chemistry with minors in physics and Entrepreneurial Studies of the Natural Sciences. “I love understanding how things work,” he said. “Every occurrence can be traced back to chemical origins. I love being able to understand incredibly complex phenomenon at its most fundamental level.” 

Career goal

“Ultimately, I could see myself working the research and development department of an automotive company, utilizing chemistry to design the new age of automobile engines.” 

Favorite professor

“My favorite professor is Prof. Blaine. The best part about her teaching style is that she truly has a passion for what she does. Although her classes are academically challenging, she is one of those professors for whom you want to work hard. She has a way of helping students reach and exceed their potential.” 

Favorite class

“My favorite class I have taken at Carthage was Introduction to Aviation. I took the class in J-Term of my freshman year. In the class, we learned how to be a private pilot. We toured an airplane manufacturing facility, a piloting school, and even the air traffic control tower of the Kenosha Airport. By the end of the month, we were all certified ground private pilots.” 

Toughest class

“My toughest class was Advanced Inorganic Chemistry. There were a lot of concepts to learn in a relatively short amount of time.” 

Internships

“In the spring of 2013, I was an intern for Pacific Sands Incorporated. Pacific Sands is a small chemical company located in Kenosha that specializes in green chemistry. Over the course of the semester, I worked in their R&D department. Typical projects would include changing colors of products, testing different fragrances, or trying to adjust the viscosity of their solutions.” 

Opportunities at Carthage

“Carthage has given me the opportunity to conduct research for credit during the semester. I worked with two other students and Prof. Blaine to analyze and monitor the chloride concentration of the Pike River, which runs through campus.” 

Campus involvement

“Currently, I am president of the Chemistry Club and Theta Chi Delta Honorary Chemistry Fraternity. I am also the vice president of member education for Delta Upsilon International Fraternity. Additionally, I am a student ambassador, lab assistant, and supplemental instructor.” 

Favorite moments at Carthage

“My favorite moment at Carthage happened freshman year. For the first time in several years, Carthage had a snow day. Myself and several friends went out to the field and played snow football in several feet of snow for two hours. It was a great game filled with a lot of laughs. I will never forget that day and the fun we had.” 

Biggest surprise so far?

“The biggest surprise is how many great friends I have made during my time at Carthage. I knew I would meet a lot of new and exciting people at Carthage, but I couldn’t have imagined making the friends I have. People at this school have a special character, and that holds true for both students and professors.” 

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would think my current studies are boring. As a kid, I always wanted to be a teacher. My 8-year-old self would probably wonder why I am not being a teacher and am instead pursuing chemistry. I do think my 8-year-old self would think it is cool that I want to work with cars at some point in the future.” 

Advice for other students considering your major

“You have to work hard. Chemistry is a subject that builds upon itself more than any other subject I have studied. If you work diligently to understand the most basic chemistry, advanced classes will be that much easier.” 

Writer

Kasey Dallman ‘14
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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