Claire Baco

Claire Baco BA '25



Degree and Class Year

BA ’25


Shingle Springs, California




Middle East and North African Studies and Data Science (double)


Women’s varsity swim team, Mossy Log Sports Editor, MENA Symposium Cochair

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Small, Pretty, Academic

What’s your favorite class? Why?

Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth with Associate Professor Clifford Bekar. He’s an engaging lecturer, and the class covers fascinating topics of the last 10,000 years of history in a theoretical way that uses more abstract thought than other math or econ courses.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I visited Lewis & Clark and knew that it had everything I wanted. I wanted to be at a small, liberal arts college in a Pacific Northwest city. It was also important to me to be able to join the swim team and go to an academically rigorous college, both of which I have found here.

What do you like or find most interesting about your major?

I like that economics has such a wide range of applications. Economic thought applies to everything from everyday life to international trade networks. It brings in components of mathematical computation as well as the need to articulate those thoughts in writing, skills that can be used over a wide range of interests.

What do you like or find most interesting about your minor?

I chose to minor in Middle East and North African studies because I value intercultural knowledge as an important aspect of being a global citizen, and I think it’s important to understand cultures which are different from our own. In particular the MENA region is frequently misunderstood and misrepresented in American culture and media, and I believe academic discussion and research can help bridge some gaps that exist between our culture and the various cultures of MENA.

Tell us about your support systems and social outlets on campus: people, activities, clubs, res halls, etc.

As a member of the varsity swim team, I have a close-knit group of teammates who rely on each other for support and a coach who does all he can to help us grow in and out of the pool. I have met some of my closest friends on campus through swim, as well as through the small classes and clubs L&C offers.

What advice do you have for incoming students?

Get started on your graduation plan early! I don’t mean you have to come in as a first-year with a plan and stick to it—but consider potential majors and their requirements before it’s time to declare. Talk to your advisors and find out what they think.

Have you been involved with one of our symposia, as an organizer or participant? What was the experience like? How did the event complement your academic experience?

I am one of the cochairs of the Middle East and North African Studies Symposium in spring 2023, and it’s been a meaningful experience. I’ve learned so much about event planning, coordination, budgeting, and so much more. It has also led me to think critically about how to study a region which I have no ethnic connection to, and to listen to voices within the region to bring home discussions while recognizing my position as a white American.

Economics Middle East and North African Studies