Abraham Lincoln statue on Carthage College?s campus.
Brett Jackson

Brett Jackson

Class Year

’25

Hometown

Estherville, Iowa

Major(s)

Biology, Paleontolgy Track

At Carthage, Brett Jackson ’25 is able to explore his passion for paleontology. He’s participated in research opportunities, visited museums as a member of the Paleontology Club, networked at the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting, and prepared for graduate school with the help of Carthage’s vertebrate paleontologist Professor Thomas Carr.

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“There is a variety of specialties and skills you can learn as a biology major. I came to Carthage for its paleontology program, which is rare in undergraduate studies and even rarer to have it through a biological and anatomical perspective.”

Brett Jackson, ’25

Why Carthage?

“I chose Carthage because it offered me opportunities that are almost nonexistent at this level in the U.S. The Carthage Institute of Paleontology, along with the Dinosaur Discovery Museum, provided me with ways to improve my skills in writing, interpersonal communication, and research, and to learn skills to give me a competitive chance to get into graduate school. Because of Prof. Carr and Megan Seitz, the three main pillars of paleontology are offered at Carthage: research, fieldwork, and laboratory work.”

Faculty mentors

“Carthage faculty have greatly impacted me over the years. Through many of my classes, I learned how to process the world around me and was shown experiences on and off campus that have let me appreciate what and how I learn at Carthage. By far, the most impactful faculty member has been Prof. Carr. As my advisor and mentor, he helped me on my college journey and is helping me toward graduate school. He introduced me to people and professionals worldwide and opened the door to future opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Campus involvement

“I am a member of the Trailstompers Outdoor Club and the Entomology Club, and I am treasurer of the Paleontology Club. The clubs do a lot of activities on and off campus. These include museum visits, talking about new and future research, outdoor activities, and, most recently, a visit to an urban farm. It’s great being part of these clubs because they gave me these experiences.”

Golden opportunities

“I was given many opportunities through Carthage, the Carthage Institute of Paleontology, and student clubs. Carthage has allowed me to go to the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology annual meeting. This opportunity introduced me to professionals from around the world and opened the door to graduate school in the future. I’ve also been able to learn and explore the area with museum visits and community events. And I’ve been able to meet many people from campus and the community through these events.”

Career goal

“Once I graduate from Carthage, I hope to get accepted into a master’s program in paleontology. After that, I plan to get my PhD to get a research job in which I can travel and continue learning well into my future career.”

Favorite spot on campus

“My favorite spot on campus is in the basement of the David A. Straz Jr. Center. The area is usually quiet, with lots of seating, open room, and a beautiful view of Lake Michigan. I have studied and worked on homework at this spot alone as well as with friends and classmates. I have spent many long nights learning anatomy on the whiteboard there. The spot is where they hold Bugs and Coffee — an event on Tuesday mornings in which the Biology Department shows their live or preserved insects while attendees enjoy free coffee. It’s a great spot that combines classwork, tradition, and friends.”