Katie Cassano, senior majoring in Atmospheric and Earth Science
Katie Cassano, senior majoring in Atmospheric and Earth Science

Katie Cassano, a senior majoring in Atmospheric and Earth Science and a College of Science Ambassador at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), a part of the University of Alabama System, recently shared her journey from a business major to a budding career in broadcast journalism, fueled by her lifelong passion for weather.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Katie Cassano's journey into atmospheric science was ignited by her family's deep-rooted interest in weather, mainly influenced by her father's dedication to tracking weather patterns on the Weather Channel. Her path to UAH unfolded as she moved to Huntsville following high school graduation, drawn by her sister's pursuit of a graduate degree. During her sister's involvement in a NASA internship program called "DEVELOP," Cassano became acquainted with UAH, where Cassano and her sister became her family's first generation of college students.

While initially pursuing a business major, Cassano later switched to atmospheric science, driven by her love for weather and science. She expressed initial hesitations about pursuing a STEM major but found the motivation to overcome challenges, inspired by her passion; " I might as well pursue it if I love it so much and you can push through the hard classes," she says.

Entering her senior year with an anticipated graduation in December 2024, Cassano is currently interning at News 19 in downtown Huntsville. Within this role, she is learning the complexities of the broadcast field, extending beyond on-camera work. Her responsibilities encompass graphic design involving weather data and exploring educational outreach initiatives to schools. Despite the challenges the green screen presents, Cassano is captivated by the setting of lights and cameras.

Looking forward, Cassano contemplates a career in broadcast journalism, potentially forgoing the necessity of a master's degree. However, she remains open to the prospect of teaching, acknowledging that pursuing a master's degree might be essential for that particular path.

Actively involved in campus organizations, Cassano is a member of UpStorm and the American Urology Society. Reflecting on her favorite aspect of atmospheric science, Cassano highlights her passion for severe weather analysis. She recounts her experiences storm chasing in Arkansas, emphasizing the practical application of skills learned in class during field deployments. She believes engaging in groups within her major and connecting with older students has enhanced her college experience, providing valuable support and advice.

Cassano acknowledges the support of Vivian Brassfield, a faculty member at the Department of Atmospheric Science, who has played a crucial role in organizing the upcoming Rocky City Weather Fair in February 2024, where Cassano will be participating. The event aims to bring together notable figures, including James Spann, to inform the public about weather-related topics.

Cassano encourages aspiring students to pursue their passions, even in the face of challenges. She emphasizes the importance of resilience, accepting failure as part of the journey, “ You just gotta keep trying and just move forward,” Cassano says.

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