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Research at Carthage

Video Spotlight: Carthage Research

SURE in 60: Gibbon Vocalizations

Azniv Khaligian ’22 and Joy Layton ’21 worked with biology professor Angela Dassow to examine the white-handed gibbons’ play behavior and vocalization at the Racine Zoo. 
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Sure in 60: The Art of Mathematics

Grace Schmidt ’20 worked with Professor Jojin Van Winkle on the project, “An Applied Survey of Graphic Novel Illustration with Frida and Euclid.”


Sure in 60: A Mural of the Women at Carthage

Gabrielle Schmitt ’20 and Katharine Schram ’20 detail their SURE project, painting a mural that depicts 150 years of women at Carthage.


Microgravity Team’s research sent to space in Blue Origin Launch

A promising technology developed at Carthage  in partnership with NASA launched into space on Dec. 11, 2019, on board private aerospace firm Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. Carthage’s Modal Propellant Gauging (MPG) technology is on track to be included in NASA’s Artemis program, which promises to put the first woman and the next man on the moon within the next 10 years.
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Sure Project: Wolf Vocalizations

Caitlin McCombe ’20 and Cara Hull ’19 completed research over the summer in the SURE Project Acoustic Signatures as Aids in Identifying and Monitoring Longevity in Wild Roaming Gray Wolves (Canis lupus).
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Professor Thomas Carr introduces the Daspletosaurus horneri

Professor Thomas Carr, senior scientific advisor at the Dinosaur Discovery Museum and director of the Carthage Institute of Paleontology, explains his latest discovery — the Daspletosaurus horneri. In March of 2017, Prof. Carr and his team, comprised of professors from Montana, New Mexico, and Australia, published the details on the existence of the latest species in a line of Tyrannosaurs. The team noticed distinctions between the Torosus and this previously unnamed skeleton. This publication named a new species after Dr. Jack Horner, a famed paleontologist who worked on the Jurassic Park films. It also drew connections between bone textures and skin appearance, concluding that Tyrannosaurs had crocodile-like scales on their faces.
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Sure Project: “Domain of Knowledge” by Paul Salsieder ’18

Paul Salsieder’s 2016 SURE project was creating a mural for Helberg Library that encompassed themes of knowledge and wisdom.


Carthage’s 2015 NASA Research Flight

Carthage students Tessa Rundle ’16, Kevin LeCaptain ’16, and Benjamin Tillema ’18 conducted research on NASA’s zero-gravity aircraft June 9-12, 2015. The NASA C-9 is a modified airplane that flies a series of parabolas over the Gulf of Mexico, rising to about 34,000 feet before free-falling 10,000 feet and climbing again. At the top of every parabola, occupants experience 25-30 seconds of zero gravity. Students also experienced a ride in NASA’s new Modular Robotic Vehicle (MRV) that was just unveiled in April 2015. 


Chemistry major discusses her 2015 SURE project

Jordan Ingle ’17 talks about her experience participating in SURE, working on a project with chemistry professor Kevin Morris.


Carthage’s Microgravity Team explains their project at NASA

Carthage student Danielle Weiland ’14 explains the science behind Carthage’s Microgravity Team’s NASA project, the zero-gravity fuel gauge.  

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2021), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • 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 wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • Beyond the campus boundaries, dinosaur fossils are prepared at the Carthage Institute of Paleontolgoy in Kenosha. A lengthy pterodactyl flight away, Finca Esperanza serves as a base camp for J-Term medical and water quality missions to Nicaragua. 

    • Since 2008, Carthage athletic training students have used the newest diagnostic tools to study concussions. Overseen by a leading brain trauma expert from the Medical College of Wisconsin, the research helps doctors determine when athletes are healthy enough to return.

    • More than 90% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit The Aspire Center.

    • 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. More than 90% 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. 

    • Carthage has ranked as a top Fulbright producer for four of the past five years. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors, and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from marketing to neuroscience, nursing 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 more than 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 students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $5.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. 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,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from $25,000 up to full tuition. 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 Intellectual Foundations.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 13:1, 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 130 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. 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.

    • 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 in the Top 5 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 …