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Photo by Matt D’Annunzio

Molly Case ’12


Hometown: Sudbury, Massachusetts

When I got to Reed I was: A bright-eyed bushy-tailed idealist who would have followed you to the moon and back and never asked you why.

How Reed changed me: Over the past four years I’ve shed a lot of insecurities and anxieties about being kind of a weirdo and really learned to embrace exactly who I am.

Influential book: Poor Economics by Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo suggests that if you combine goals with legitimate and efficient economically based solutions, you get more done.

Favorite spot: There’s a nook on the top floor of the Student Center overlooking the canyon where I love to nap or grab a few minutes to myself. 

Random thoughts: Truth is relative and we don’t live in a world of absolutes. All you can really do is find something you’re passionate about, find a niche somewhere or lots of somewheres, and live a life that is satisfying intellectually and psychologically. It’s important to me to do something productive, but I don’t want to save the world anymore, because I don’t think that’s possible. I want to know I’m working towards a goal that’s meaningful to me.

Cool stuff I did: Admission intern, tour guide, and dorm host. Orientation coordinator. SEEDS orientation odyssey leader. Spent a semester in Florence. Traveled to Haiti for my thesis. Was a member of Reed’s Curling Team, the Drum Korps Dancers, and the peer mentor program.Scholarships, awards, financial aid: I received funding from the economics department and the president’s discretionary fund to travel to Haiti, and I was recently awarded the Mellon Environmental Studies Summer Experience Fellowship for my internship with SOIL.

Adviser: Noelwah Netusil [economics 1990–]

Thesis: The Benefits of Implementing Sustainable Financial Models in Small Nonprofit Organizations

What it’s about: I constructed a sustainable financial model for SOIL, a small nonprofit based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that focuses on ecological sanitation toilets and hygiene education.

What it’s really about: How poop is going to save the world.

What’s next: I’m going back to Port-au-Prince this summer to work with SOIL. After that, who knows? It’s okay not to have everything figured out all the time.