What is A Reedie, Anyway?

April Kaplowitz

Economics

September 1, 2015

Hometown: Austin, Texas

Thesis Adviser: Prof. Kim Clausing [economics 1996-]

Thesis: “Do We Really Know that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Will Increase Trade? A Study on the Effectiveness of Regional Trade Agreements in Promoting Trade”

What it’s about: Measuring the effects of trade agreements, like NAFTA and the European Union, on world trade with hopes that my findings will encourage the creation of new trade agreements.  

What it’s really about: The whole world is better off when we get along. 

Who I was when I got to Reed: I was passionate about working for the rights of poor black kids—and about making music.

Favorite class: Sociology 244, Race and Ethnicity, with Prof. Marc Schneiberg. It was reassuring to see the theory behind the racist world we live in.

Cool stuff:  Studied abroad in Italy. Worked at the Paradox Café and the Bike Co-op. Was an HA in MacNaughton, a Financial Services Fellow, Mercy Corps Northwest intern, and wrote music that I recorded with my band, Imani Gold.

Issues I’ve faced: As a woman of color from a working class background my sense of reality was shaken at Reed. After my sophomore year I left to tutor and mentor poor black youth at a school in West Philadelphia. That experience helped me realize how much of an asset a college education can be in elevating someone socioeconomically. Income isn’t the important thing—college signals optionality. “You can assume whatever you want about me, but I graduated from college.” I returned to Reed when I realized that it was actually the best college for me.

How Reed changed me:  I am much better prepared to work within systems that are not built for me as a black queer woman. I didn’t learn that in spite of Reed; I learned it because of Reed.

Word to prospies: Make an effort to connect with faculty and staff. Do internships, volunteer work, service work and on-campus jobs that give you answer-focused stuff. Reed is all about the questions, and that’s special, but graduates would be ill-equipped if all they did was ponder the questions.

What’s next: The equities division of Morgan Stanley in New York City. Because I’m a Reedie I’m always asking questions. There is a market for people who can look at the world around them and see where the business is going, who can think critically when everything is moving so fast.