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Meet Cassie Davis - Research Assistant "Fact Forager"

Cassie Davis grew up in the Columbus area, graduating from Hilliard Davidson High School. In the winter of 2022, she graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Medical Anthropology. Before joining PAST, she acquired archaeology field work experience in the Midwest and also Poland. Which oddly enough, brought her to us!


After interning at PAST in the summer of 2022, Cassie decided that she wanted to join PAST. “PAST enables me to work with an outstanding team of passionate individuals all focused on reimagining education and bringing those rich experiences to all of our students in and around Central Ohio and beyond”. It also helped that she took Dr. Jeff Cohen’s research class exploring research, data and ethnography from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. The combination of her formal training and professional experiences have helped her with a more wholistic view of the world.


When asked what she loves about PAST, she noted that she enjoys the dynamic workday and the ability to see the direct work that PAST’s research supports – applied knowledge. “The work that PAST does is cutting edge, frontier work that makes a difference in the lives of students. You only need to be in the space to realize PAST’s magic first-hand.”

One of the first assignments that each staff member tackles when joining PAST is deciding on their personal meta title. "I chose Fact Forager because I felt that it blended the fun/creative side with the analytical side of my work as I "forage for facts". As a research assistant I collect and analyze data within an educational environment, similar to foraging for food in an outdoor environment. "Forager" is also a reference to being "out in the field" with the ethnographic fieldwork that is part of my position."


What does the future hold for Cassie? Possibly graduate school likely in research and anthropology. Right now, though, she is focused on learning as much as she possibly can. She said that she enjoys the analytical aspect of the work as well as the creative side. Working on the podcast series, Learning Unboxed, allows her this opportunity. She identifies innovative educators, schools, and programs and helps to lift up those voices sharing their stories via weekly recordings hosted by PAST’s President & CEO, Annalies Corbin.


In closing, Cassie offered that she often thinks about how we can best support kids. “Having a research team evaluating our evidence-based programs and utilizing interns to help them gain workforce experience, are two great examples of how we are supporting students to help them become their best, authentic selves. The end result is that at PAST, we practice what we preach.”


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