Maverick Leer

Maverick Leer

Class Year



Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Biology, Paleontology Track



“The Biology Department at Carthage has strong research opportunities and lots of interesting classes to take. The professors are helpful and are very good to get to know.”

Maverick Leer, ’26

Career goal

“I plan to go to graduate school to receive at least a master’s degree in paleontology and then do research.”

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

“Carthage faculty have given me tools to start succeeding before I’ve even started my career, with both research opportunities and by simply teaching my classes. I know I can always turn to them if I need help or have questions.”

Favorite class

“This semester, I’m taking Entomology, a class focused on the study of insects, and it’s a blast. Most people are afraid of bugs, but it’s truly fascinating how different they are from us. I’m also interested in the invertebrate side of paleontology, so learning about the modern analogs of prehistoric invertebrates is very helpful.”

Toughest class

“Organic Chemistry, which I was informed would be a tough class, has been my hardest. It’s a very involved class that requires a lot of work outside of the class periods.”

Campus involvement

“I’m a member of the Paleontology Club, which isn’t just for paleo students. The club is very inclusive and seeks to educate people on the misconceptions of paleontology. Sometimes the club has game or movie nights. I’m also the secretary of the Entomology Club, which does basically the same thing but for bugs. Additionally, we have live pets, including a young tarantula and a colony of African hissing cockroaches.”

Opportunities at Carthage

“Over the summer, I participated in the SURE program to research growth in eurypterids (ancient sea scorpions). I was able to recover a growth series for Eurypterus remipes to show how the animals changed over the course of their lives. I’ll end up continuing the project for my independent study and likely my senior thesis as well!”

“I’ve also been able to go to a couple of conferences for the paleontology track to see how research is presented in a professional setting, and I’m going to one soon to present my own research. In addition, I plan to participate in a summer J-Term class in Montana in the Hells Creek Formation to dig for dinosaurs.”

Favorite moments and memories at Carthage

“I came here knowing nobody, and I’m proud of myself for finding friends among this vast sea of diverse people. I have a group that I can rely on for studying, getting dinner, and having some good laughs with.”

Favorite spot on campus

“I enjoy The Oaks lounges. They’re very spacious, and I often have game nights there with friends. It’s also a good spot to go and relax. In the basement of The Oaks buildings are music practice rooms that I also go to frequently to play piano.”

Biggest surprise so far

“I never would have anticipated how interconnected things are here. Clubs and organizations frequently collaborate, bringing different groups of people together. People of all majors come together at sports games to cheer on their friends, classmates, or neighbors. It’s not necessarily a surprise since I would hope for each individual group to be able to interact with others in a positive manner, but it’s certainly uplifting to see.”

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

“8-year-old me would be very intrigued with where I’ve ended up. He’d be optimistic about the path that we’re on and eager to see where it takes us. I think he’d also been happy to know that we’re studying the thing we’ve been obsessed with our whole life.”

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

“The Biology Department at Carthage has strong research opportunities and lots of interesting classes to take. The professors are helpful and are very good to get to know.”

Why Carthage?

“Carthage has a beautiful campus, a good undergraduate Paleontology Program, and it’s close to home if I want to leave for a weekend or break.”