Benjamin Morse ’09 has spent much of the past year in West Africa, where the Ebola virus has infected more than 26,000 people and killed more than 10,000. He’s been administering surveys door to door for a nonprofit in an effort to figure out why Ebola spread so fast. The answer? Distrust of the government and others. People in West Africa have not responded quickly, or at all, to quarantines or even advice about washing hands.

“I got interested in international development when I studied abroad in Ecuador while at Colby,” Morse said. “I wouldn’t locate it in any one experience or observation but probably simply that foreign countries, particularly developing countries, are just so much more interesting from a social and political perspective.”

Added Morse’s father, Ted Morse, “He’s always been very analytical. Being analytical, you wouldn’t think that he had much concern for other people, but all of his projects in Liberia and Sierra Leone have been collecting and analyzing data to help the less fortunate and the less powerful.”