Katherine Taylor Retek

Katherine Taylor Retek

Class Year



Rensselaer, Ind.


Political Science & Musical Theatre

“Getting the chance to perform here at Carthage is a rewarding experience. Not only for yourself but for those who take the time to come and support the show. Every time you perform a story, you act in a way that conveys you. Everyone should be able to have the chance to perform once in their lifetime because you may never know how it might change your individuality once you do try.”

Katherine Taylor Retek, ’24

Career goal

“I plan to attend law school at either UW-Madison or Marquette University after graduation.”

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

“I am very fortunate because I have the best advisors a student could ask for. I work with many advisors from the Political Science Department and the Music Department. The people I look up to the most are Professor Jerald Mast, Professor Corinne Ness, and Professor Matthew Hougland. They take so much time out of their day to ensure their students have the best care and can graduate on time. They have helped me in many ways with upcoming tests and assignments, and I could not be more grateful for their efforts.”

Favorite class

“My favorite class I am currently registered in is Tap I with Richard Ashworth. He is a fantastic teacher and worked at the Chicago Tap Theatre for quite some time. He does much for his students in learning the material and ensuring we know the steps. He helped me at times when I was at my worst and always gave me the best advice. I am always grateful for him as a professor.”

Campus involvement

“I am involved with Carthage’s Entomology Club. In October, we took a field trip to a local bee farm and learned the significance of protecting local honey bee farms. Along with their impacts and the wildlife that surrounds these farms.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“I interned at the Kenosha County Courthouse last year, and I observed Judge Angelina Gabriele. I took the internship for three credits through Carthage, and my advisor was Professor Michael Phegley. It was a great experience, and I met many wonderful people at the courthouse. I plan to do another internship for them next summer. I am looking forward to what will hopefully be a paid internship.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“My first Carthage performance happened this year, and it was through the Music Department. I was a part of the musical ‘HAIR.’ It was a fun process, and I loved the people I worked with. Even though the show does not make much sense, it certainly made a lot of sense to the people conveying the story, and it became very personal to all of us. I also worked on two performance workshops through the Music Department as well. One of which was a cabaret called ‘Life is a Highway.’ It was the first time I got to work with someone on a country song duet, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.”


“I am honored to have received a merit scholarship and musical theatre scholarship through Carthage. These scholarships have meant that all my hard work has paid off, and I can see some worth in myself.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“Making friends within the Music and Theatre Departments by going on adventures outside campus to get food after long rehearsals.”

Favorite spot on campus

“Oaks 1 lounge 4 has the best lake view and is a quiet place to study. You can hear the waves from the lake and watch them crash on the shoreline. Something about looking at the lake is so peaceful that it brings a sense of calmness, especially on the more stressful days.”

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would be surprised by the direction I wanted to take with my life. I did not know what I wanted to do as a career until this past summer when I decided to do my internship. I think my old self would be proud of putting myself through all my hard work, continuing to do great things, and surprising people in my family. I never thought I would make it this far in my life, and I am glad I did because I can say to myself that I made it.”

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

“Political science is a fantastic major because it teaches a lot about the world. It teaches you to become a well-rounded person with topics related to the environment, economics, immigration, criminal justice, and education.”

Why Carthage?

“When I was a senior in high school applying to different colleges and universities, I found out that Carthage had sent me an email to my school email address. I took a tour two days after I applied, and I have been in love with Carthage ever since.”