Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Cassandra Cavness ’13

Cassandra Cavness ’13
Assistant Professor & Humanities Digital Archivist
Alabama State University

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Professional. Passionate. Driven.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
I always wanted to attend college but I was sidetracked along the way. My dreams were put on hold for a little while when I found out I was pregnant at the age of 19. However, I kept reading and kept the passion for learning alive. I decided that I couldn’t put my life on hold forever because I wanted my kids to have a better life and I could only do that by pursuing my degree.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
I searched many different schools that offered online programs, but none of them seemed to fit my needs. I found SUNY Empire State College and the level of commitment that ESC had to adult learners meant that it was the right school for me.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
My wonderful fiance and my mother and stepfather helped me along the way.

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
As a mother with two young children, both under the age of four, I had to juggle being a full-time student and a full-time stay-at-home mother.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
The advice that I would give a prospective student is to take the planning of your degree program serious thought and make sure that you structure it in a way that will allow you the best chance to succeed. Also, reach out to your mentor for help and guidance because that’s what they are there for.

Why do you give back to ESC?
I give back to SUNY Empire because this school is where I got my second chance. I was able to graduate from ESC and go on to get my Masters from Syracuse University. This allowed me to have wonderful experiences in the world and travel across the United States working for different organizations and land at an institution where I currently hold the rank of Assistant Professor, something I didn’t think I would be able to achieve by the time I was 30, but I did!