Meet Ben Labaschin, IGSS Graduate 2012

Ben Labaschin

What path did you pursue after IGSS and New Trier?

After graduating New Trier High School in 2012, I took a gap semester where I held a brief stint as a farmer. By January 2013, I was enrolled as a full-time student at Lake Forest College where I studied Economics and Environmental Studies.

What are your future academic and/or professional plans?

Upon graduating Lake Forest College with a double major in Economics and Environmental Studies, I was hired as a restoration ecologist at the Chicago Botanic Garden where I worked in native prairie cultivation and conservation. Today I am an economic analyst at Arity, a mobile technology startup, where I study the socioeconomic impacts of transportation policy and green tech.

How did your time in IGSS impact you as a learner and person?

Before IGSS, education had never been anything more than a burden to me. The inflexible and formulaic manner in which I was taught made me feel lost and unmotivated-as though I was not meant to be a student. By contrast, the input-centric and globally-dynamic curriculum cultivated by the IGSS community inspired within me an unfamiliar academic curiosity. For the first time, I felt as though I could glean a sense of worldly meaning and motivation from my education. Now I plan on pursuing a Ph.D. in economics-a goal I wholly attribute to the academic curiosity IGSS helped to foster.