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INSTITUTE FOR SUSTAINABILITY, ENERGY, AND ENVIRONMENT
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN
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Meet Regina Cassidy

When Regina Cassidy was a little girl, her family placed emphasis on experiences rather than material items. Taking these ideals throughout her life led Cassidy to become a teacher and museum educator, and to develop her interests in the arts.

Now, she is ready to take those ideals into a different career path.

Cassidy is a first-year Graduate Research Assistant studying urban and regional planning, with a concentration in land use and environmental planning and a focus on sustainability. In addition to her studies, she is a clerk for the Education and Resilience SWATeams, as well as a secretary for the iCAP Working Group (iWG).

“Some people may think I am crazy to go back to school at my age, but I love learning and this field, I don’t think there is anything more important that I could be doing,” Cassidy said.

One of Cassidy’s most important duties is providing structure for the members of her team. Because of the support she provides, their ideas can become reality.

“I really love listening to people’s ideas, and I really love listening to them knowing that some of these things can actually be done,” Cassidy said.

Being actionable is a big reason Cassidy chose urban planning. The relationship between urban planning and sustainability is almost inseparable.

“Urban planning is also when I discovered sustainability,” she said “I discovered it was something where you could be creative, apply practical solutions to things, and also be visionary: What kind of world do you want to live in? Those things really attracted me.”

This question — “What kind of world do you want to live in?” — is what truly drives Cassidy to be a better student and graduate assistant.

“These classes and working here are pretty demanding, but exciting. It is very stimulating, challenging and forces me to use my brain in ways that I hadn’t before,” she said.

It is clear that her values carry her to becoming a better version of herself, and to ultimately help the world become more sustainable and less materialistic.

Cassidy leaves us with this question:

“Why is this important for us to spend our time, money, and energy on — and how can we make the good parts a bigger part of our life?”

— Article by Chloe Rice, iSEE Communications Intern

 

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