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#UofTGrad17: Cassandra Rawlings

One piece of advice Cassandra Rawlings has for students is:

“If you ever have the opportunity, check out the roof gardens,” Cassandra Rawlings says. Her passion for sustainability and biodiversity was what inspired her to pursue a major in Conservation and Biodiversity.

“I really enjoy learning about ecology and figuring out larger-scale problems, especially issues with invasive species,” she says.

She chose to also major in Mental Health Studies because she thinks “the more people that have knowledge in this field, the less taboo it will be to have mental health issues in the future.”

Though she no longer lives in residence, she continues to stay involved in the place she calls home working as Facilities Assistant.

Rawlings’ passion for nature is also why she encourages student’s to explore the Valley and “take advantage of this greenery.”

Rawlings’s next step is to either find work in the Biodiversity field or go straight into a Master’s program.  

Where did you go to high school? 

I went to St. Patrick’s High school in Sarnia, Ontario. 

What was your favourite class? Why?

I took a directed research class in biology (BIOD98) and I think it is the best anyone could ever take, especially if you need research experience for post-undergrad studies. My research was about shape differences between habitat types in the invasive fish Round Goby and helped me realise that this was what I wanted to continue in further studies. Even if you don’t end up loving what you’re doing, at least you have a better idea of what you don’t want to do!

Quick tip for new first years?

Most students don’t know what they’re doing at first, and I’d say a large majority end up switching majors. I did. Don’t worry about it. Just be happy with what you’re doing, because four or five years is a long time to not enjoy something.

What made you want to be in residence and become a part of the Residence Life Team?

I feel like anyone who has the opportunity in their first year to live in residence should. It’s the best time to meet new people, and have lots of events ready for you. Being a Residence Advisor in my second year gave me the chance to make other students’ first year memorable like mine was. Being a Residence Programmer in my third year gave me the chance to event plan, which was my favorite part about working and living in residence. 

What is your favorite memory of residence?

I made this event called RezTalks, which was created around the principle of TedTalks, except only students spoke. It was one of my favorite events because it was largely student-run, and it was a great way to let students speak on topics they were passionate about.


To read about more of the class of 2017 graduates click here

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