Casandra graduated from CSI with an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Graphic Design. She attended CSI as a non-traditional student raising two sons (ages 5 and 2) while going to school and working. She started part-time and may have taken longer to complete the program compared to students without family and work responsibilities, but she had the persistence needed to move forward and graduate. Casandra interned and worked as staff designer at the Tower (CSI’s student newspaper), and is currently working at The Times-News. Her graphic design earned best of show in its category in the CSI Student Art Show. Although Casandra endured job changes, moves, and even living in a homeless shelter, she overcame these challenges and she is a true inspiration to others. In her testimony Casandra wrote: “There have been many changes in my life since I started attending CSI. My life was pretty stable but rather quickly it went to very unstable... I have kept a great GPA throughout my schooling. It hasn’t always been easy, but it has been very rewarding and I am very excited to walk across the stage with my honors cord.”
“I feel like my experiences at The Tower helped me land my job at The Times-News. First, I gained an understanding of newspaper layout that I would not have gotten interning anywhere else. Second, I was able to get strong pieces for my portfolio. Third, I learned how to work with a team. This is beneficial for any job. However, in the newspaper business it is crucial. I work in the page layout and copy editing department at The Times-News and find that I must be able to communicate with my coworkers at all times. We edit each other’s pages and help each other to be creative. I also do pre-press once a week. In this position, I must be able to communicate with the copy desk, sports writers, and press operators. As a part of the team, I need to be friendly to my coworkers and work efficiently to get the job done. Finally, at The Tower, I learned about deadlines. These are extremely important in the newspaper industry, especially in a daily paper. All pages need to be submitted to the press by 11 p.m. It is like a well oiled machine. And having worked in a newspaper environment, I already had that urgency.”
“My experience at The Tower was rewarding and exhilarating. I enjoyed working there and am grateful that I had the opportunity. It has helped me in my career pursuits and given me confidence in my work.”
Stories were submitted and/or verified for accuracy by the CSI students featured in them. Some of the stories have been edited for content/brevity by CSI staff. The currency of the information presented depends on when the story was submitted or last updated (we have been continually accepting nominations since spring 2007).