For MaryHelen Prince?s student voices profile

MaryHelen Prince

Class Year

’24

Hometown

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Major(s)

Environmental Science

Minor(s)

Social Justice and Studio Art

“Environmental science is perfect for people who want to learn from hands-on experience. The labs we do are unlike any other major. One day, you’re waist-deep in a river; the next, you’re walking around gathering mushrooms.”

MaryHelen Prince, ’24

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because I loved the community feel and how there are so many opportunities to grow and be involved. Also, the lake, duh!”

Faculty mentors

“Carthage faculty are second to none. They are so understanding, friendly, and willing to help in any way that they can. My relationships with the professors in the Environmental Science Department allowed me to be an environmental fellow, which looks fantastic on my resume. Outside of my department, faculty care deeply and are a great resource for planning my future and discussion in general.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class at Carthage was Screen Printing with Professor Lisa Bigalke. She is kind and sees the artist in everyone. She helped me battle my perfectionism when it comes to art and encouraged me to declare it as a minor. I also learned so many different skills when it comes to screen printing, from chemicals to designing and printing T-shirts!”

Toughest class

“My toughest class was Human Behavior in the Social Environment for my social justice minor. The content was so interesting but very dense and hard to read emotionally. The conversations we had in class were very advanced, so I had to bring my A-game to every class session to succeed.”

Campus involvement

“On campus, I’m a member of Carthage United to Rescue Earth and the Rock Climbing Club. I am also an e-board member for Pi Theta, president of the Horticulture Club, and out-of-state senator for the Student Government. I love extracurriculars because they allow me to be involved but still have an escape from classes and homework.”

Golden opportunities

“Last January, I had the opportunity to take over the Horticulture Club and got to work in the campus greenhouse, growing things and planning meetings. I absolutely love this club so much — the people are so amazing and fun. All the plant people on campus have my heart. We are planning to have so many fun meetings this year, and it’s such a good time.”

Internships or campus employment

“Right now, I’m a sustainability intern on campus, and I love it. I get to identify where the school can improve on sustainability and make projects to work on it. I love how flexible it is and how I can really do something that I enjoy. My main project right now is sorting through old technology and seeing what works and what doesn’t. I sell what works on Facebook Marketplace, and the rest gets recycled in the proper way.

“Soon, the other interns and I will start to plan our annual Sustainability Summit where we have so many different guests come and give sustainability presentations on various different topics and themes.”

Career goal

“I don’t have concrete plans, but instead concrete goals: working with plants, helping the environment, and making a difference everywhere I go. This could look like any number of things, and I’m open to all sorts of possibilities.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is easily the greenhouse. It has the best view of the lake, and anywhere with plants is a good place.”

Favorite memory

“One of my favorite Carthage moments was 2021 Homecoming. Things were difficult being a freshman in 2020, and finally getting to feel like part of a community, especially after just joining a social sorority, was so much fun. It was the first time I felt a sense of togetherness after taking classes online.”

Biggest surprise

“The biggest surprise so far is how easy it is to make friends. All you have to do is know someone’s name, and you’ll start to see them all over campus. I met my best friends because we decided to go to BINGO together. I know that we’ll be in each other’s lives forever.”

Advice for other students in your major?

“Environmental science is perfect for people who want to learn from hands-on experience. The labs we do are unlike any other major. One day, you’re waist-deep in a river; the next, you’re walking around gathering mushrooms. It’s pretty impossible to be bored when you’re studying something as cool as the Earth.

“My advice for people interested in the environment is to just do it. There is always room for more environmental scientists. Even if you just want to try out Intro to Environmental Science, you’ll learn so much about how the physical world works and can become a better activist, person, and leader.”

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

“My 8-year-old self would definitely think that environmental science is the coolest thing ever, mostly because at that age, I was still teased at school for being a “tree hugger,” and I loved it. Also because myself now and my younger self still have an obsession with flowers and plants.”