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July 2009  |  Return to issue home

2009 Graduate Student Leadership Award: Cassady Glass Hastings

“Leadership is recognizing a need to mobilize people around a common problem or issue, and knowing yourself well enough to understand your ability to be beneficial (or not!) as an advocate/spokesperson/convener for this group ... as well as understanding the uniqueness of every person and/or situation and having the ability to approach different constituencies in unique ways to promote maximum effectiveness.”—Cassady Glass Hastings

A fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies area, Cassady Glass Hastings is bursting at the seams with energy. Many students know her as the perpetually chipper statistics teaching assistant who has a knack for explaining hypothesis testing, but while other students might be buried beneath their research drafts, Glass Hastings has found the time to be an especially active Faculty Council Student Representative, mentor and all-around contributor to the College of Education.

Cassady Glass Hastings
Cassady Glass Hastings

It is for these accomplishments that Glass Hastings received the 2009 Graduate Student Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding qualities of leadership, community service and  academic achievement.

A member of the Associated Students for the College of Education (ASCE), Glass Hastings was elected by her peers to Faculty Council, along with fellow student Maria Zavala.

“I use my position to rally, convene and check in with students in  order to contribute to conversations, disseminate important information and advance questions or concerns,” Glass Hastings summarizes. “My style is to approach all tasks with 100% ... or I don’t take it on.”  As such, this year, in addition to serving as a College of Education peer-to-peer mentor for four Educational Leadership and Policy Studies masters students, Cassady served on two Faculty Council sub-committees.

One such sub-committee was charged with developing advising principles for the College of Education. While Glass Hastings emphasizes that this was a collaborative task with two other faculty members, she served a crucial role because, “It was very important to me that these principles reflect the responsibilities of both faculty and students because the advising relationship, is just that, a relationship.  It takes two active, engaged parties to have a positive and productive advising relationship.”

Further, while some would see the creation of the advising principles as a feat in itself, she didn’t want the final product to wither on the vine, finding great importance in “translating vision into practice.”  

Glass Hastings is now collaborating with Marty Howell, director of Student Services, to create an Advising Handbook that uses these principles as a foundation that will promote beneficial advising relationships and outcomes. “We envision it as a document that can grow with the student, as cheesy as that sounds, through the different stages of the graduate student experience,” she explains, “and covers topics ranging from ‘First Conversations’ to ‘Approaching a Large Research Project’ to ‘Finding a Job.'" 

Her enthusiasm is infectious as she declares, “Look for the Advising Handbook this fall!”

In addition to Glass Hastings’ involvement in core projects of the Faculty Council, this year also included difficult discussions around the impending budget cuts. As a student advocate, she chose a leadership role in these dialogues and was pleased when Dean Wasley and the Faculty Chair, Michael Copland, embraced the importance of information-sharing and dialoguing with students.

“As the Faculty Council began considering options for reducing our budget it became clear that someone needed to convene students to ensure that our voice was being included in discussions that could significantly impact our graduate school experience,” she explains. “My primary goals were to provide students with the necessary information to better understand the state of our budget, the potential reductions and the impact on students, student employment in particular, as well as to collect student reactions and priorities to this information for Faculty Council and the dean to consider in their decision-making.”

Copland commends Glass Hastings’ work on Faculty Council, saying that she benefited both the College and the Council’s decision-making process.
“Cassady represented student perspectives and opinions expertly in Faculty Council deliberations on various issues, not the least of which have involved advice to Dean Wasley on the budget situation this year,” states Copland. “Cassady has consistently worked to give voice to crucial decisions that will impact student life in the College. Cassady was also instrumental in coordinating opportunities for Dean Wasley to talk with students in open forums about the budget decisions, and to seek student input about what they value in this process. In short, Cassady’s participation in the work of the Faculty Council this year has been substantive, important for the COE and incredibly valuable to me.”

Her other recent leadership positions have included a role as Chair of the Learning for Leadership Council, a UW Graduate School committee, and volunteer work for Proposition 1, the regional proposition to extend the light rail to the UW, Bellevue and North Seattle. With all of these roles, it’s hard to believe that she has time for academic work.

Glass Hastings’ dissertation is based upon her interest in international comparative education. She is working with adviser Tom Halverson and Brad Portin on her dissertation, which investigates the role formal education can play in influencing gender equity outcomes.

“My dissertation examines the comparative influences of democratic classrooms, with or without curriculum on gender equality, on adolescent support for women’s rights in 10 countries,” Glass Hastings explains. “[It] utilizes secondary data from the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) 1999 Civic Education Study. I will be testing a hierarchical linear model of the student, teacher, school and country influences on support for women’s rights and comparing these results between countries. In short, I want to better understand the ways in which schooling can influence gender equity outcomes, such as equal political representation and economic compensation for men and women.”

Enacting positive change, whether through her dissertation work or her leadership roles, seems to be a theme for Glass Hastings.

Says Halverson, “Cassady is a triple threat; she's exceptionally capable intellectually and produces outstanding academic work, she has a deep understanding of the complex organizational and political dynamics that contribute to the functioning of a research university, and she works and plays well with others. ... Not in ways that get publicly recognized, but in some very significant ways, Cassady has made the lives and educational experiences of both current and future College of Education graduate students richer, more rewarding and a whole lot less stressful-- the College of Education is a far better place because she's been here!"

When asked if she would like to share anything else, Glass Hastings is quick to respond, “I am very humbled and honored by this award,” she states. “I step up when there is a need and feel passionately about enacting positive change ... being recognized for this work is simply a bonus.  However, being recognized means that I am enacting change, or at least people know I am trying very hard to,  and that is marvelous!”

July 2009  |  Return to issue home

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