Meet the Majors

Zoe Kruse ’23

Quantitative Economics and Religion

About Zoe

Class of 2023

Hometown: Evanston, IL

Quantitative Economics and Religion

House: Hubbard

Other clubs, sports and activities you’d like to mention: 
Smith Squash, Gold Key

Describe your major completely incorrectly.
Religion only studies what happens in ancient texts and sacred spaces. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share about your time at Smith?
Go to office hours! Smith professors are genuinely some of the most caring individuals I have ever met. They want to get to know students and help them succeed. Office hours are also a great time to get to know classmates. Many of my best conversations with professors and peers have happened during office hours. 

Describe one moment when a professor was particularly generous.
My adviser Andy Rotman is incredibly generous. One moment that really stands out is the start of the fall semester of my junior year when I was feeling overwhelmed by my course load. I sent him a panicked email on a Saturday night and the next morning we talked on the phone for over an hour. We came up with a plan to help me succeed in my classes but we also talked about my hopes and anxieties for the rest of my time at Smith. 

Where is your favorite spot on campus?
I love Hillyer because it is silent and has great views of Seelye and Neilson. It’s definitely the most underrated study spot on campus. 

If another student was considering your major(s), what would you tell them?
The academic study of religion is a very wide field that incorporates a lot of disciplines and is amenable to many questions. Religion is deeply implicated in human culture and shapes morality, law, literature, and society. We don’t just talk about things that are clearly “religious”—we also discuss matters of justice, power, suffering, meaning, and structures embedded in our world.

Similarly, one of the best parts about economics is the skills it provides to help understand the world. Economics studies how society organizes production and allocates resources. As such, it’s deeply implicated in welfare and public policy and fits with a variety of other fields. 

Ultimately, pick a major that excites you.