sunset at Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA)

Blake Creasey ’16

"I wanted to be making my own choices. Grinnell was willing to give me the power to do that."

Blake took AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, and AP Biology his senior year at the Breck School near Minneapolis, but his first year at Grinnell he didn’t set foot in the Noyce Science Center. Instead, he used Grinnell’s individually advised curriculum to take introductory courses in philosophy, sociology, and economics. After declaring computer science as a major, Blake continued to explore widely across the curriculum, nurturing his myriad interests in music history, political science, and policy, which allowed him to develop flexibility and nimbleness in all his pursuits.

Liberal Arts

Blake Creasey ’16 in New York

“I felt that it was pretty typical to be taking all of these different courses. My path was unique, but taking so many different types of courses doesn’t feel unique at Grinnell. There were so many classes I wanted to take, and there were only four spots to fill a semester. If I had another semester, I would take chemistry. And another economics class. And I’d like to take more math classes. And I’d also like to do physics.

“I didn’t want someone else to be dictating my education. I wanted to be making my own choices. Grinnell was willing to give me the power to do that — not only give me the power, but empower me.”

Mentored Research

“I realized I wanted to keep thinking about the economics of innovation, because I’d go into Professor [Brad] Graham’s office hours to talk about the reading, things related to the reading, or my internship. It got to the point where I asked if there was some way we could just continue talking about these things even though our class was going to end. And he said, ‘Yes, let’s do a guided reading.’

“We focused on the question ‘Are the technologies that are being developed today going to change society in a way that is fundamentally different than the way technologies have changed the world before?’ We were trying to make sense of it together, and we were both equally lost together. We were working together as a team. And from my perspective what was so phenomenal was that it was just two people with different backgrounds trying to help each other out and understand the material.”

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