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Cassie J. Brownell is a doctoral student in Teacher Education in the College of Education at Michigan State University. Originally from Montana, Cassie graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2008 with a B.A. in Social Welfare and Justice and a minor in Justice and Peace Studies. Following graduation, Cassie began her career in education as an elementary teacher in post-Katrina New Orleans. During her five years teaching in New Orleans, Cassie obtained a Master of Elementary Education as well as a special education certificate from the University of Notre Dame. As a transdisciplinary scholar, Cassie’s doctoral work critically considers how youth author identities across different community contexts through story and play.
In her role as an undergraduate educator, Cassie seeks to create active engagement opportunities for students by challenging students to recognize how their work must extend beyond the four walls of the university classroom. Cassie is devoted to supporting students as they interrogate the (hi)stories of their home, current, and future communities as well as their personal experiences and understandings of learning across disciplines, but especially as it relates to the arts and humanities, in an effort to learn to engage civically in their local communities.