UAH – Faculty of Science

UAH – Faculty of Science

Katie Cassano, a senior atmospheric and earth sciences major and College of Science Ambassador at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), part of the University of Alabama System, recently shared her journey from a business major to a budding career in business. Broadcast journalism, driven by her lifelong passion for weather.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Katie Cassano's journey into atmospheric science was sparked by her family's deep interest in weather, which was primarily influenced by her father's dedication to tracking weather patterns on the Weather Channel. Her path to UAH unfolded when she moved to Huntsville after graduating from high school, drawn by her sister's pursuit of a graduate degree. While her sister was participating in a NASA training program called “DEVELOP,” Cassano was introduced to UAH, where Cassano and her sister became the first generation college students in her family.

While initially pursuing a major in business administration, Cassano later switched to atmospheric sciences, driven by her love of weather and science. She expressed initial hesitation about pursuing a STEM major, but found the drive to overcome challenges, inspired by her passion. “I might also pursue it if I love it so much and you can get through the tough classes,” she says.

Entering her senior year with an expected graduation in December 2024, Cassano is currently interning at News 19 in downtown Huntsville. Through this role, she learns the intricacies of the broadcasting industry, which extend beyond working in front of the camera. Her responsibilities include graphic design incorporating weather data and exploring educational outreach initiatives for schools. Despite the challenges posed by green screen, Cassano is fascinated by setting up lights and cameras.

Looking to the future, Cassano is considering a career in broadcast journalism, possibly foregoing the necessity of a master's degree. However, she remains open to the possibility of teaching, acknowledging that a master's degree may be necessary for this particular path.

Cassano is actively involved in campus organizations, and is a member of UpStorm and the American Urological Association. Reflecting on her favorite aspect of atmospheric science, Cassano highlights her passion for analyzing extreme weather events. She recounts her experiences chasing storms in Arkansas, with an emphasis on the practical application of the skills she learned in the classroom during field deployments. She believes that participating in groups within her major and connecting with older students has enhanced her college experience and provided her with valuable support and advice.

Cassano acknowledges the support of Vivian Brasfield, a faculty member in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, who played a critical role in organizing the upcoming Rocky City Weather Expo in February 2024, where Cassano will participate. The event aims to bring together prominent figures, including James Spann, to inform the public about weather-related topics.

Cassano encourages ambitious students to pursue their passions, even in the face of challenges. She stresses the importance of resilience, and accepting failure as part of the journey. “You just have to keep trying and keep moving forward,” Cassano says.

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