Cassidy Bittenbender

Cassidy Bittenbender

Cassidy Bittenbender

How did you choose your degree program?

This program was an easy choice for me! Ever since I was a little girl, I loved learning about the environment and I knew that this was what I was meant to pursue. When I was researching programs, Mason's stood out to me because of its partnership with the Smithsonian and the wide variety of classes they offer! It is difficult to find programs that combine environmental science and sustainability so when I found this one, it was a perfect fit for what I wanted to study.

How did your academic experiences in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences impact you?

My academic experiences impacted me in numerous ways. My classes were always smaller, with just a few students in each, so it was very engaging and you get to learn a lot more about your peers and professors! Because my field is interdisciplinary, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences helped me to study beyond the math and the chemistry of environmental science and instead look at the human dimensions of the environment and sustainability. So, I am leaving Mason with a new skill set and perspectives on environmental issues, the many factors that exacerbate them, and how to solve them.

What accomplishment(s) during your time at Mason are you most proud of?

The accomplishment I'm most proud of is that I am graduating one and a half years early! I completed an Associate of Arts degree in high school and then I transferred right to Mason so I was able to fulfill all of my degree requirements in a short period of time. Now that my time is up, I'm not ready to leave!

Are there faculty or staff members who made a difference during your Mason career?

Every professor in my department has made a difference to my college career in some shape or form. I would specifically like to acknowledge my professors at the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, Dr. Stephanie Lessard-Pilon and Dr. Jim McNeil. They have been amazing educators throughout the semester I spent with them and I feel more confident than ever in my ability to pursue a career in this field because of their guidance and support, both academically and professionally.

What are your current career plans following graduation? What are your long-term career goals?

Following graduation, I plan to be involved in marine research and conservation! In the long-term, my goal is to get my master's degree and have a career in marine conservation, environmental education, or resource management.