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Student Voices

  • Samantha Nichols ’19
    Samantha Nichols ’19

Samantha Nichols ’19


Kenosha, Wisconsin



Favorite spot on campus

“I feel like most of my free time during my freshman year was spent studying. My favorite study spot was the the atrium stairs in the Science Center.”

From a young age, Samantha Nichols knew she wanted to be a nurse after watching her mother graduate from nursing school and begin her career as an orthopedic nurse.

Now, following in her footsteps, she is a student in Carthage’s new Nursing Department working toward her goal of becoming a nurse on an orthopedic or MedSurg unit.

“I chose Carthage because the newly founded Nursing Department is able to provide me with many opportunities and experiences. Because the program is so new, we are working hard to make it an amazing program with the best faculty, facilities, and experiences. The Nursing Department at Carthage is growing quickly and I am so honored to be a part of it.”

Career goal

“My career goal is to work as a nurse on an orthopedic or MedSurg unit.”

Favorite professor

Prof. Frank Hicks is the director of the Nursing Department and has worked closely with me during my time so far at Carthage. He always provides me with the tools and encouragement I need to preform to my best not only in school, but in life. I know with his guidance I will be an amazing nurse some day.”

Favorite class

“My nursing theory class was by far my favorite class at Carthage. The class taught us the true essence of nursing along with all the fundamentals and principles of nursing.”

Toughest class

Human Anatomy and Physiology for Health Professionals I (BIO 2010) was definitely the hardest class I have taken so far at Carthage. The class required a lot of memorization, but also application of the learned material. Although the class was tough. it taught me study skills that will be beneficial in future classes.”

Campus involvement

“I am the president of the Carthage Nursing Student Council so I have been enclosed in many of the developmental aspects of the Nursing Department. Some of the projects I have worked on so far are things such as writing our bylaws, giving input on the design of our simulations lab, and welcoming new students to the program.”

Favorite moments at Carthage

“Most of my favorite memories come from J-Term when I took my nursing theory class. It was the first time that all of the nursing students were in one class and it allowed us to bond and learn more about each other.”

Biggest surprise so far?

“I was really surprised by how much involvement I was able to have in the development of the Nursing Department. As a freshman, I never expected to be working directly with the director of the department on such important projects.”

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

“I have always known I wanted to be a nurse from a very young age because of my mother. When I was 8 years old she had just graduated from nursing school and was about to begin her career as on orthopedic nurse. I’m sure my 8-year-old self would be very proud of where I am today.”

Advice for other students considering your major

“Nursing is known to be the hardest undergraduate degree. My recommendation to other nursing students would be to find a study technique that works for you early on and review material often. Nursing is a major where all of the information builds off of each other so it is important to get a good foundation.”

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2019), 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.

    • Two years in, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing is one of Carthage’s fastest growing programs.

    • 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. 

    • Every January and June, between 20 and 40 students travel to the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua, where they spend two weeks studying tropical ecology, volunteering in rural medical clinics, and helping to construct freshwater facilities. 

    • The Carthage nursing curriculum delivers nearly 1,100 hours of clinical experience by the time a student graduates from the program. Carthage partners with regional health facilities including the United Hospital System and Aurora Health Care. 

    • Carthage has been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running: 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. 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 archaeology 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 $1.5 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 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 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 No. 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 …