“It has set me up for a role where I can make a difference much larger than I initially ever thought I could in national security matters while still allowing me to love science.”
Cassandra (Cassi), she/her, recently earned a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences: Medical Microbiology from the University of New Hampshire. During her undergraduate studies, created a website exploring infectious disease, outbreaks, and how culture should intersect with disease control. Currently, she is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Center for Global Health Science and Security. Additionally, she is a Senior Intelligence Report Editor Intern for the Counterterrorism group and writes articles for PlanetHome, a sustainability company headquartered in California. She will be graduating from the Biohaz program in December 2021.
What made you choose Georgetown University for your MS degree?
Two things made me choose GU: the program (Biohazardous Threat Agents), and the location. The program itself is what really drew me into Georgetown when applying to schools last year, because it incorporated everything I love: infectious disease, policy, and national security. The professors are at the top of their fields, and the opportunities to customize the program to my career just made it a perfect fit. The location of DC, where I have always wanted to live, just sealed the deal.
What sparked your interest in the biomedical field?
In high school biology, we read The Hot Zone by Richard Preston as a connection to current events, as I was taking the class at the beginning of the 2014 Ebola epidemic in Western Africa. I completely fell in love with global health and infectious disease because of that book and decided research was how I wanted to make a difference. That remained true, until I did laboratory work and realized I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. That’s when I decided to go to grad school, which lead me to the Biohaz program. Partnered with growing up watching crime dramas and hearing about terrorism on the news all the time… it was a no-brainer to enroll when I got accepted into the program, as it has set me up for a role where I can make a difference much larger than I initially ever thought I could in national security matters while still allowing me to love science.
What advice would you give to prospective students?
Do your research: Georgetown as so many programs and finding the right one for your desired career is the most important part. Look at what graduates of those programs are doing on LinkedIn, talk to faculty, and reach out to current students if they’re open to it.