Cassandra graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan with a degree in community and global public health. During her time at the University of Michigan, she gained public health research experience supporting the work of agencies local to Southeast Michigan and national health systems such as Kaiser Permanente. Her urban planning coursework during her junior and senior years were transformative in her decision to pursue a career as a city planner. After graduation, she worked as a research assistant at the Ford Policy School where she conducted research and made recommendations to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on strengthening work supports, reducing benefit cliffs, and utilizing two-generation approaches to poverty alleviation.
Field placement: University at Buffalo Food Systems Planning & Healthy Communities Lab
Buffalo, New York
Cassandra completed her field work with The University at Buffalo Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab, a research team that provides technical assistance to community advocates and local governments to transform community food systems both locally and globally. The Food Lab views food systems change as a lever for interrogating other systems of oppression in order to promote health and food equity. Cassandra worked closely with the Westminster Economic Development Initiative (WEDI) to evaluate the impact of their West Side Bazaar expansion efforts on the local food system by creating interview questions, conducting interviews with Bazaar vendors and analyzing data.