Kaitlin Franks '09
Spotlighted Student: Kaitlin Franks '09
Kaitlin Franks ’09, is the Economics Departments next Spotlighted Student. She comes to Haverford from Silicon Valley, California. When deciding on a college, she applied to a variety of liberal arts institutions. What sealed her Haverford fate was her first campus visit. She was with her family on a beautiful spring day. Unfortunately, when the Franks family arrived in Pennsylvania, their hotel was not ready, forcing them to carry their luggage with them to campus. Combine this with no sleep and hunger and you are not in the best of situations. When Kaitlin and her family finally made it to the Campus Center, toting around their luggage, they were approached by a woman who offered to stow their belongings, so they could tour the campus. There were also some parents who overheard this conversation and offered to provide the family rides wherever they needed to go! Kaitlin took this as a good sign and a strong Haverford vibe, and this proved true during her four years here. When asked about her experiences and best memories at Haverford, Kaitlin answered, “just overall really good people”. It’s a small campus, so she was able to build and maintain solid friendships.
Kaitlin is very appreciative of Haverford not only in the personal relationships she has obtained, but also the experiences and opportunities it has afforded her. Haverford’s CPGC funded an internship in India last summer where she worked with women’s self-help groups teaching English to young children and adults.
In the academic realm, Kaitlin is a very strong student. Her thesis topic is on retrospective voting in presidential elections from 1968 to 2004. She defined retrospective voters as though who voted based on median household income growth. Looking at the two types of retrospective voters separately, she sought to figure out if an incumbent President was held more accountable for a voter’s personal financial situation and/or the U.S. median household income growth than any other incumbent party candidate. Secondly, she sought to figure out what types of voters vote this way, based off of a chapter written by, Morris P. Fiorina (1981) in, “Retrospective Voting in American National Elections.”
On campus, you can find Kaitlin working in the Special Collections area of the library. She is a Haverford College archivist, which means that she archives historic photos of the college. She finds this job very enjoyable, as she is able to see and learn a lot about Haverford’s history.
Kaitlin likes to take her stress away by participating in aerobics class on campus. She really enjoys this because it gives her a chance to be dorky, while relaxing.
In addition to her economics major, she is a political science minor at Bryn Mawr. Kaitlin was torn between a political science and economics major and chose econ on a whim. She began to realize how valuable this choice was when she took econometrics. With this course, she began to understand the technical skills that economics was building for her. This was something that she would not find in political science or public policy. Economics brought it all together.
After graduation, Kaitlin will be working as a Research Assistant for the Metropolitan Housing and Community Center at the Urban Institute in Washington DC.