Cassidy Brown (’06) – Young Alumni Awardee

During Homecoming 2017, the Friends of Chemistry announced that Cassidy Brown (’06) would be the 2017 recipient of this year’s Young Alumni Award.  She joins Kerry Pickin Paumi (2016) and Peter Tarsa (2015) in this list of impressive young Chemistry alumni.

Cassidy received her BS in Chemistry as well as a BA in History from Wake Forest in 2006.  She received Honors in Chemistry stemming from work she did with Dr. Rebecca Alexander.  She also worked in the History department with Dr. Michelle Gillespie.  After graduating, she did graduate work in the History of Science and Technology at Johns Hopkins.

In 2010 Cassidy began teaching high school chemistry at West Nottingham Academy in Maryland, where in 4 short years she became head of the Science department and was selected (by other faculty) as  “Teacher of the Year” in 2013.

Cassidy is presently teaching at Sonoma Academy in Santa Rosa, CA, where, in addition to teaching Chemistry and Math and a History of Science course, she continues to be heavily involved with the developing the complete student through advising and event planning.

Cassidy has received numerous awards and leadership opportunities in the Bay area and across the country. She is clearly establishing herself as an educational resource in the Bay area and beyond.

When she picked up her double major (Chemistry/History) from Wake Forest, we knew she was broadly educated, but we didn’t know the full extent of that breadth.  Her students do.  In addition to teaching and advising Cassidy has served as a coach for a wide variety of teams, including Soccer, Tennis, Debate, and Roller Derby.

Her friend and fellow Wake Forest Chem major, Allison Hager Jackson (’06) describes Cassidy as…

“a wonderful person and a dynamic teacher of chemistry….  She uses innovative approaches to engage her high school students in chemistry.  She teaches them to make dye for tie-dye.  She has them decorate gingerbread for each of the elements in the periodic table.  They make liquid nitrogen ice cream.  She also uses a practical approach to teaching chemistry that teaches critical thinking and life skills at the same time.  She takes time outside the classroom to coach athletics and mentor her students.  In her last school, she helped the students to start a club for the inclusion and awareness of GLBT  students.  I think she would be a wonderful recipient of the young alumna award!”

So do we, Allison.