Political Science, English
Alyssa Scott’s interest in world cultures and international travel led her to a major in political science.
“When first thinking about college, I thought I wanted to major in international relations,” Alyssa said. “Carthage doesn’t have a specific program for that, but by concentrating in comparative politics, I get to take classes learning about governments, policies, and human rights in countries all over the world.”
Alyssa hopes to someday work for a human rights organization or international not-for-profit that allows her to travel. Carthage has already given her a taste of working internationally. During J-Term 2012, Alyssa went on the study tour to Nicaragua, which is one of the most popular courses offered during the month-long intensive semester. Biology professor Patrick Pfaffle and geography and earth science professor Matt Zorn lead the Carthage Symposium in which students travel to the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, and take part in service learning. Students learn about the conflicts and history of Nicaragua before leaving campus.
“I think that having a good grasp on any language would help a political science major, but for me personally there have been — and still are — a lot of political conflicts in Latin America that really interest me,” Alyssa said. “So if I ever wanted to do research or work with people there, knowing Spanish would definitely be necessary.”
On campus, Alyssa uses all of her available resources to help better her Spanish and increase her understanding of what she is learning in her political science classes. She is a tutor for the Target Language Experts and engages with her professors as often as she can.
“The Political Science Department has amazing faculty who are really passionate about what they teach and genuinely know what they are talking about,” Alyssa explained. “They are also amazing in the sense that they will help you with most anything, and really want you to learn the most you can in your time with them.
“I love the Political Science Department because it is really flexible and allows you a lot of freedom to study what you are interested in,” she concluded. “You have to take classes from all the categories and then choose one of the areas to concentrate in, but even then you get to choose most of the classes you take for your major. It’s awesome and really enhances your learning when you get to learn about things you’re passionate about or genuinely interested in.”
“I love the political science department because it is really flexible and allows you a lot of freedom to study what you are interested in.”
“I haven’t decided what I want to do with my life yet, but I have many options and there are some great professors at Carthage who will help me figure it out.”
How have Carthage faculty had an impact on your life or Carthage career?
“My favorite professor would have to be Dr. Jeffrey Roberg. I took his Introduction to International Relations my first semester at Carthage, and even though it was hard, I loved every minute of it. He is also now my advisor and has helped me with so many things.”
“My favorite class was Human Rights, also with Dr. Roberg, because I learned a lot in that class and some of it was truly astonishing. It was also a class of only six people, so we got to know each other really well and Dr. Roberg really challenged us all.”
“They are all tough if you make them tough. Certain professors may have reputations of being really hard, but you also end up learning the most from those professors.”
Favorite moments and memories at Carthage
“The Christmas Festival is awesome, so are all the plays put on by the Theatre Department, and it’s also really fun to go explore Kenosha— especially downtown.”
Favorite spot on campus
“It isn’t really on campus, but I love walking to the beach — especially on a sunny day.”
Why should other students consider your major? What advice do you have for them?
“No matter where you end up, when you’re sitting in your classes and something the professor says or discusses really interests you, you should go talk to them about it after class. Talking to professors opens a lot of doors for you, and even if it means more work for yourself, your hard work will pay off.”