Savita Chandarana

Savita Chandarana

Class Year



Lockport, Illinois


Neuroscience and Psychology



“I am thrilled with my decision to double major in psychology and neuroscience at Carthage; it has been an excellent preparation for graduate programs, and I feel like I have grown so much as a student and a person.”

Savita Chandarana, ’24

Career goal

“After graduating from Carthage, I hope to obtain my Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD). My goal is to empower children with disabilities and their families. Ideally, I would like to combine my passion for swimming by creating an aqua therapy clinic, but if I can’t, I would love to work in a school or an early intervention program.”

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

“Without the support of Carthage faculty, I would not have discovered the profession of occupational therapy. I am incredibly grateful that the faculty take the time to get to know their students and support them inside and outside the classroom. The Aspire Center has also provided me with phenomenal career guidance and preparation tools, such as resume building, networking opportunities, interview preparation, and writing my personal statement.”

Favorite class

“My favorite (and toughest) class at Carthage has been my psychology fieldwork thesis course. For this class, I conducted a single-subject research study at a facility in Racine that provides OT, PT, and speech services. Through this, I was able to acquire shadowing hours for graduate school, learn how to conduct a literature review, improve my professional writing skills, and apply the knowledge I have gained from the Psychology Department in real-world situations. Although this was the toughest class I have taken at Carthage, it was also the most rewarding and gratifying experience I have had. It was remarkable to be able to apply all of the knowledge I have learned through classwork to impact a child and their families positively.”

Campus involvement

“I am extremely involved at Carthage! I always tell people that Carthage is a place where you can tailor your own experience and path; what you put in is what you get out. I have been on the swim team for four years, and I have found some of my best and lifelong friends on the team. In addition, I am the president of the Special Olympics Club, Pre-Occupational Therapy Club, and Alpha Epsilon Delta, and I am highly involved in Psi Chi, Pinky Swear PACK, and Best Buddies. Carthage has something for everyone, allowing you to make friends with similar interests and share your passions with others.”

Internships or on-campus employment

“Yes! On campus, I work as a swim lesson instructor, lifeguard, and teacher’s assistant (TA) for the psychology fieldwork thesis course. The TA position is through the Psychology Department, and it has allowed me to improve my instructional skills, gain research opportunities, network with other like-minded students, and prepare for my OTD doctorate capstone.

“Through The Aspire Center, career specialists helped me get a job in the Therapeutic Recreation Department at the RecPlex to get patient contact hours. I have learned so much about the holistic treatment of clients, which has been outstanding preparation for OT school.”

Opportunities at Carthage

J-Term is a wonderful time to do things you love or that sound fun to you! I took a class about the science behind stress and well-being in my first year. It was wonderful because it allowed me to analyze my stressors and figure out how to manage them best. In my junior year, I went on a scuba diving trip to Honduras with Professor Dan Miller and Professor Paul Martino to finish my biology minor. I enjoyed being able to explore the diversity of marine life while learning from two of my favorite Carthage faculty members. Additionally, being able to explore a completely different culture was such an eye-opening experience.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“My top three Carthage memories:

  1. Homecoming every year is such a blast! The swim team always has an alumni swim meet; it is amusing to see old and new friends come together.
  2. I have never been as proud as the day I presented my psychology thesis poster. It was so gratifying to see all my hard work come together at the end and celebrate the positive impact my intervention had on my peers, faculty, and family.
  3. Meeting my best friends and being able to grow together. I am so lucky to have lived with my best friends, have other great friends as neighbors, and feel supported by the Carthage community.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus would have to be either in my bed during the sunrise or sunset watching the colors reflect over the lake, or doing homework or reading in a hammock by the water.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I think the biggest surprise so far has been all the positive changes Carthage has made while I have been here. I really liked the campus when I first got here, but as a senior, I have seen so much unexpected positive growth within departments, physically in campus buildings, and in offerings to students.”

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

“I think my 8-year-old self would be satisfied with my career choice and desire to go into a helping field. My 8-year-old self would be proud of my work at Carthage and the activities I have been involved in.”

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

“I am thrilled with my decision to double major in psychology and neuroscience at Carthage; it has been an excellent preparation for graduate programs, and I feel like I have grown so much as a student and a person. I feel highly supported by my professors in both departments with classes, advising, and preparation for the future.

“The Psychology Department is fantastic, and the professors specialize in different areas, allowing for a well-rounded psychology education. They host different departmental programs and events, providing students with networking and research opportunities. I have really enjoyed the wide variety of courses we have to choose from because it allows me to study specifically what I am interested in. While the Neuroscience Department is a little smaller, I have always felt supported by my faculty.”

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because it truly felt like home. When I visited, I fell in love with the campus and enjoyed how friendly the people were. I was drawn to the Kenosha area amenities: the restaurants, dogs, beaches, bike paths, local parks, and all of the fun things to do downtown. Academically, I knew that I could create wonderful relationships with my professors and be supported throughout my undergraduate journey. The professors here really care about you as an individual and want you to succeed, which is a great environment for growth.”