Meet Your Barista: Cassidy @ HB-Shelbyville Road
As a future Forensic Anthropologist, Cassidy might just be the most interesting person in the room! Make sure you ask her about her plans to dig-up a seventeenth century Polish grave site this summer as a part of her field study.
As her co-worker Hayley says, “She’s super cool to work with, extremely dedicated to her studies, and has the most wicked sense of humor out of all the baristas here.”
Which location do you work at?
How long have you been working at HB?
It’ll be a year in this month
When you’re not working at HB, where are we most likely to find you?
When it’s warm I spend just about all of my time at the dog park. Wherever you find me, I’m definitely studying or reading. I do fun things too, I swear. I just turned 21 so I’m getting to experience that part of Louisville now.
You are studying to go into forensics – what sparked your interest in that field?
I actually started out wanting to be a doctor. Then I took my first anthropology class and knew there was something I loved about it. The summer after that class I visited this amazing underground alchemy lab, discovered by archaeologists. I wanted to be the person finding things like that. That was a huge catalyst in changing my major. After I moved into the anthro major and took my first skeletal forensics (human osteology) class it was over. We had a lab with the class. As soon as I held my first skull and determined bilateral asymmetry (handedness) from a scapula, I knew what I was going to do with my life. It kind of snowballed from there and I had a great professor guiding me in the right direction.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m hoping to go to graduate school. If I’m really lucky I’d like to be a professor doing research, digs, and consulting in forensic cases after graduate school. If I’m really, really lucky I’ll be traveling along with all of that. But we’ll just have to see where this takes me.
It sounds like you have a big trip to Poland planned – what do your travels entail?
I do! Archaeology students are kind of expected to attend a field school before graduating to learn about mapping, digging technique, cataloging, laboratory work, etc. The field school I’m attending is for mortuary archaeology in northern Poland. We’ll be digging up a 17 th century cemetery that has to be moved for environmental reasons. The site is supposed to include some rumored “vampires,” so if I don’t come back you guys know why. I have family in Germany and I’m planning to see a few other places while I’m there. Traveling has always been a big part of my life so I’m excited to have chosen a career that includes plenty of it.
Tell us a little bit about the outreach you do with the Kentucky Science Center!
All of the outreach I do is coordinated through UofL’s Anthropology Student Association or the department. We have done a couple events at Kentucky Science Center (KSC). Most recently, my friend, Codi, and I participated in the Mystery at the Museum. It was an adults-only night. Visitors got to solve a murder while learning the science behind solving a murder. We brought in skulls from the department’s collection and taught the guests how to identify skeletal remains. I was really proud of this one because we put our showcase together entirely by ourselves with material from the skeletal forensics class.
What was the best part of the KSC experience?
Kids are pretty hard to impress. It feels really good to be able to teach them about something and they’re actually giving their full attention and want to know more. Definitely the best part is when they say that they want to do what I’m doing. I’ve heard, “I want to go to college to be an archaeologist,” a few times. That’s the coolest thing. My favorite, though, was a little boy calling me a “Scientist,” at the KSC. That really stuck with me.
If you had a time machine, which time period would you most like to visit?
Without a doubt, sometime around the 1400s. I love the Middle Ages and Renaissance. You get all these new ideas about the world, art, and science. You successfully avoided the plague. That’s a great time to be alive.
Louisville native or transplant?
Transplant from Lawrenceburg, KY
Favorite HB drink and why?
It changes by the month, but I only really like cold coffee. Normally it’s an iced soy latte. When I want something sugary I’ve been making an iced coconut mocha.