Tess Fiedler fell in love with Carthage for two reasons: The beautiful location of the campus, and the small class sizes. She knew that at Carthage, she would be able to get the one-on-one help that she was looking for in a college.
“It just seemed like a great community to be a part of and there was a wide range of programs to choose from, in case I couldn’t make up my mind on what I wanted to do,” Tess said. “I also liked that Carthage was a liberal arts school, because I believe that the best students are well-rounded and able to succeed in a variety of different areas.”
Tess didn’t come to Carthage as a chemistry major.
“Surprisingly, in high school, I didn’t particularly like chemistry,” she said. “After taking a few general chemistry courses here at Carthage, I realized that chemistry wasn’t so bad after all, and that the major could take me to where I wanted to go in life. The community of awesome people that make up the Chemistry Department was also something that I really didn’t want to miss out on.
“There is a strong sense of community; we all help each other out and have a great time together while also learning all about chemistry,” she continued. “Also, the faculty is the foundation of this great department. They are quite an assortment of individuals, but they sure to know how to teach as a team and make the department the best it can be. I cannot say enough about the professors. They go above and beyond for their students, and that is just something I will always respect.”
Tess has been involved with the Carthage Activities Board, Pals and Partners, the Pre-Health Club and Pi Delta Chi Service Sorority, and has held leadership positions for Carthage United to Rescue Earth and Chemistry Club. Tess also had the opportunity to study abroad during J-Term in Nicaragua and China.
“At Carthage, I have had the opportunity to take two once-in-a-lifetime J-Term trips to Nicaragua and China,” Tess said. “Both trips were something I never could have done on my own, so I feel extremely privileged to have been able to use the opportunity provided to me. Going on these trips has really opened my eyes up to the world around me, and also allowed me to develop lasting friendships with a lot of my peers. Being faced with so many new experiences, so far from home, really creates strong and lasting bonds with the others that you travel with.”
She also had the opportunity to conduct research as a junior with Prof. Christine Blaine. “The research focused on monitoring chloride levels in the Pike River,” she said. “Being a research student really helped me to learn to think outside the box and to work independently. My partner and I were solely responsible for collecting weekly samples from the river, and also for analyzing them and developing conclusions based on those analyses. Having the research experience looks really great on my resume and allows me to feel comfortable about getting a job in the sciences after Carthage.”
In the future, she plans to go to veterinary school to become a large animal veterinarian. “I want to actually use my degree and continue to challenge my mind.”
“There is a strong sense of community. We all help each other out and have a great time together while also learning all about chemistry.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“I have so many! They are all awesome in different ways, so I actually have about four to six favorite professors.”
“Introduction to Sociology because it was very interesting and outside my general area of expertise. Prof. Bill Miller really makes the class applicable and easy to learn about. Secondly, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry was very challenging, but cool material.”
“Advanced Organic Chemistry, because I am not very good at Organic. Some people just don’t have the gift!”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“Once in Analytical Chemistry Lab, my lab partner fainted and all I could think about was that she was lying on the dirty floor. It never occurred to me that she had actually fainted, because I was too focused on the task at hand, which was finishing the lab. I also have really enjoyed all of the events with the Chemistry Department and Chemistry Club, and working with the little kids in Pals and Partners.”
Favorite spot on campus
“Either on the beach or the Analytical Lab in David Straz Center first floor hallway.”
Biggest surprise so far
“I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to dorm life as a freshman and sophomore, and also at the amount of lifelong friendships I have made in such a little time.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“Just do it! It may be tough, but all of the chemistry majors get through it together. In the end, you can be proud to call yourself an accomplished chemist, which most people can never dream of doing!”