Staff Interview: Molly Hagan
6/3/19 / Jim Pripusich
Molly Hagan puts humanity front and center of everything she does. Whatever the task, she brings a deep understanding of relevant sociocultural forces to inform decisions. Molly’s proclivity for the nuances in people make her excel at everything from moderating focus groups to providing great PBS documentary recommendations. At Corona, she applies expertise in qualitative methods to solve the most difficult problems in research, evaluation, and strategy.
Molly started at Corona in the spring of 2017, just four days after making the drive from Nashville to Denver. Luckily, she was familiar with the area after completing a master’s degree in anthropology at the University of Denver. Molly was immediately drawn to Corona as a place where she could apply the perspective and methods of anthropology to a wide range of topics in market research and consulting. Molly always motivates her colleagues to produce exemplary qualitative work and often describes 2019 as “the year of qual!”
To stay on top of the newest trends in qualitative research, Molly participates as an active member of the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) and was a recipient of the its 2018 Young Professional Grant. Molly regularly brings innovative tools and methods to her work at Corona. While recently moderating a focus group about parents’ perceptions of college savings accounts, Molly had participants choose “Dixit” cards that reflected their feelings. The cards, containing dreamlike images from a storytelling board game of the same name, highly resonated with participants and generated deep and honest conversation about the emotions behind college savings.
Molly’s research at DU, which centered on community collaboration and program evaluation within museums and other nonprofit organizations, has been a perfect fit for a series of projects at Corona. She has used tools like ethnography and in-depth interviews to help the Children’s Museum of Denver, Museo de las Americas, Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver, and many others make key decisions to better serve the community.
Her favorite projects at Corona are tied to community culture and education. One such project was an engagement with the Logan School for Creative Learning. As part of the project, Molly was able to join a field trip with children aged 6-11 to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Describing the experience, Molly noted, “It was so eye-opening to see how kids learned in that environment. I was amazed at how interested they were in such advanced topics, and how much they could understand!”
Outside of Work
When she’s not working, you can find Molly exploring Denver’s food and drink scene with her dog Lola. Molly and Lola also love getting out to explore and camp in the Mountains whenever the opportunity arises. Sticking closer to her Nashville roots, Molly is a frequent concert goer and rarely passes up the chance to see a good bluegrass show.
Molly selected Metro Caring as her recipient of Corona’s $500 donation.
Molly has long been impressed with Metro Caring’s understanding of the complex and nuanced causes of hunger and appreciates their dignified approach of solidarity. On the organization, Molly notes, “Many people do not understand that empowering people to exert their own agency over food production and consumption has a more lasting impact than simply providing food.” Metro Caring provides wrap-around anti-hunger programming by offering services like a free grocery store, a job-readiness program, utilities assistance, and nutrition and cooking classes to everyone in the Denver metro area.
Throughout 2019, to help celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we are profiling our staff and select clients. Corona is also donating $500 on behalf of each staff person to a charitable organization of their choice. Click here to view all of our interviews.
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