Julia Radtke?s Student Profile Image

Julia Radtke

Class Year

’24

Hometown

Brookfield, WI

Major(s)

Physics and Chemistry

Minor(s)

French

“The science classes I have taken at Carthage have helped me see how interesting and complex science can be.”

Julia Radtke, ’24

Career goal

“After I graduate, I would like to go to graduate school and eventually have a career in condensed matter physics research.”

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

“My chemistry professor, Christine Blaine, gave me the idea to double major in physics and chemistry and helped me plan out a schedule that fulfills all of the requirements and still allows me to graduate in four years. My French professor, Pascal Rollet, encouraged me to add on the French minor, which I ended up really enjoying.

“My professors also wrote letters of recommendation for me when I was applying for summer research programs. I ended up participating in two different REUs. One REU was on glass conductivity at Coe College; the other was about pump-probe spectroscopy on topological insulators at UC Davis. In addition to doing something I loved, I got to work on my laboratory skills and explore different areas of research.”

Favorite class

“It’s really difficult to choose a favorite class because I’ve taken a lot of good ones! I liked Physical Chemistry because I got to combine concepts from both physics and chemistry to solve problems. Another great class that I took was Experimental Physics, which I took over J-Term. I enjoyed the hands-on experiments, and I liked the people I worked with in the class.”

Toughest class

“My most difficult class was probably Quantum Mechanics. It definitely involved a different way of thinking than most of my previous physics classes. Even though it was very challenging, I enjoyed the class a lot and was surprised by how much I learned.”

Campus involvement

“I’m a member of the Society of Physics Students and the Carthage Tea Club, and I am the treasurer of Chemistry Club. The clubs on campus have really helped me get to know my peers, and I like spending time with people who share a common interests with me.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I worked as a biology lab assistant for three semesters. I enjoyed it because I love working with science, and I worked with a lot of people who I really liked.

“I also started tutoring French my junior year, and I loved it. I enjoyed sharing my interest in the French language and helping my peers succeed. Tutoring French motivated me to practice my French more and to think more about the grammar concepts so that I could explain them clearly to other students. I loved the tutoring job so much that I decided to also start tutoring physics and organic chemistry my senior year along with continuing my job as a French tutor.”

Scholarships

“I received a Math/Science Scholarship from Carthage. I’m really thankful for this scholarship, and it was really rewarding to see that my interest in STEM subjects ended up paying off.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Some of my favorite moments at Carthage are the simplest ones. I love studying or grabbing coffee with friends and doing activities with the clubs that I’m involved in.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I really like the Hedberg Library! I also spend a lot of time in the Straz Science Center, which has a lot of really nice study spots.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I’m definitely surprised by how much I learned and what I’ve been able to do. I don’t think I would have believed I could do the physics and chemistry double major and French minor when I first came to Carthage, so I’m really glad that my professors encouraged me to do the double major and minor. I’ve also been surprised by how much I enjoy my classes and on-campus jobs.”

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

“I’ve always loved math, so I would probably be happy to know I use a lot of math, especially for physics. I think I would be surprised that I’ve grown to enjoy science so much. I would think it’s really cool that I can speak French.”

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

“The interdisciplinary perspective that I gained from studying physics and chemistry has given me a deeper understanding of both subjects. I’ve also learned a lot of problem solving-skills from my courses in both majors. Additionally, my French minor has made me a more well-rounded person and has given me the chance to work on my communication. My advice is to be passionate about what you’re learning and challenge yourself.”

Why Carthage?

“I liked the small class size and science programs offered at Carthage. When I was touring the school, I got to sit in on a physics class, and I liked it. I also received the Math/Science Scholarship.”