Valerie Hathaway

Class Year



Kenosha, Wis.


Chinese, Psychology

After taking Chinese for all four years of high school, Valerie Hathaway knew that she wanted to continue her studies in college. Carthage’s location and blossoming Chinese program in the Modern Languages Department sold her on the school. After graduation, she hopes to work as a translator for the government or an international corporation.

“I plan on working with people, so by getting a basic understanding of how humans think and perceive situations, I can apply this knowledge while doing various translating jobs,” Valerie says of her double major in psychology and Chinese. “I have always been interested in psychology because I love to learn how the brain works. I also decided on Chinese because it is quickly becoming a much needed language to learn. Plus, I liked learning a different and unique language and wanted to continue.”

The faculty is Valerie’s favorite part of the Chinese program at Carthage. She appreciates that they take time to help struggling students with the more complex parts of learning the language, such as new sentence patterns and memorizing the characters.

“The Chinese program is filled with professors who enjoy teaching their students the language,” she said. “They are organized and are more than willing to sit down with the students to make sure their majors and minors are going smoothly.”

The Target Language Experts program has also been helpful to Valerie, who describes it as a “give and take program” where the TLEs teach English-speakers about their languages and cultures, while the English-speaking students teach the TLEs about the English language and U.S. American culture.

Valerie plans to study abroad in Spring 2012. She also visited China for a J-Termclass, touring the cities that line the Silk Road. During her time at Carthage, Valerie has also been asked to participate in a research study program, and is a member ofPi Delta Chi service sorority, Alpha Lambda Delta honors fraternity, and Chinese Club.

“The Chinese program is filled with professors who enjoy teaching their students the language. They are organized and are more than willing to sit down with the students to make sure their majors and minors are going smoothly.”

Valerie Hathaway, ’13

Career goal

To work as a Chinese translator for the government.

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

“It is very hard to pick one favorite professor because I have enjoyed all of my classes. I liked all of my Chinese professors because they were fun and made class interesting. They are all very nice and try to get to know who the students are and what they want to do in life.”

Favorite class

“My favorite classes were Chinese 302 during the spring semester of 2011 and Chinese/Japanese Calligraphy class. I liked Chinese 302 because the class size was three students, so we were able to get individual help if needed. It was also interesting because when we would finish our unit early we were able to ask questions about what it was like to live in China and the history, since two out of the three students plan on going to China to study abroad.”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was the Cognition writing intensive course. I have a hard time writing my thoughts down on paper, so that made testing very difficult. However, this class drastically improved my writing skills.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I have had a lot of fun moments at Carthage. My favorite moment was when my friend and I tried to play racquetball for the first time.”

Favorite spot on campus

 “My favorite spot on campus is outside of the bookstore. I usually run into several friends there after class.”

Biggest surprise so far

“The biggest surprise so far for me is how helpful the professors are.”

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

“Chinese is an interesting language. If you want to learn the language, you should study every day and take time memorizing the characters. I usually write out each character 20 times for each unit. If you are not able to understand the unit, or are unsure on how to say a word, speak up. If you do not ask, you will just get more confused.”