The Impact of One ...
Cassie Moran: Focusing on community outreach
Staying involved in the community - from helping the youngest in need to the oldest - provides equilibrium for Cassandra (Cassie) Moran '08, a CPA and auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
As an accounting major, Cassie was on the College of Business Administration Student Advisory Board. Being president of the board her senior year earned her a seat on the Alumni Board as well. She now chairs the Alumni Board's Committee for Community Outreach.
"As a young alumnus, there are many ways to get involved with the University and in the community. It's an active involvement as well as a financial commitment," said Cassie. "When volunteering in the community, we make a bigger impact as a group."
She heads the efforts of the Alumni Board to adopt up to 40 families each Christmas season through the Detroit Children's Center. The center provides a list of items needed and volunteers purchase clothing, toys, diapers and other essentials. Cassie and her team of committee members collect items from alumni and bring them to the Detroit charity. Parents partake in a simulated shopping experience at the center, which gives them a sense of pride in selecting the right donated items for their children. Other activities range from packing food boxes for seniors at Focus: HOPE to assisting at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and packing food at Gleaners.
The Alumni Board also has worked with the Student Advisory Board & UDM service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega on their own food distribution. In previous years, students prepared hundreds of sack lunches for Detroit's homless. Using a UDM van, the students drove through Detroit's poorest neighborhoods to distribute the food.
Cassie's years at UDM prepared her well for her career. "The programs are so strong and the faculty are so passionate about their subject that it helps students become passionate about their chosen field," she said.
Her lasting impressions of UDM include first and foremost, her friendships. She thrived with the student to faculty ratio of 14:1 and was able to meet with professors when needed. She also valued the diversity of cultures, opinions and experiences. An avid music fan and theatergoer, she also learned to appreciate opera.
Academically, she excelled. She was one of the student deans of the honors program campus-wide and belonged to the academic fraternities Beta Alpha Psi and Beta Gamma Sigma. She also belonged to the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, where she first became involved in organizing and rallying support for community outreach among fellow students.
"I didn't live on campus, but I was at school 12 hours a day," she said. "I had such a sense of community just walking between classes and knowing everyone that I passed along the way - both students and faculty."
She worked at Chrysler as an intern for two summers and had several offers of employment upon graduation. Members of the Alumni Board conducted mock interviews with her and served as advisers. She chose her current employer because of the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies as an auditor.
Cassie works at a frantic pace during audit season, but has been able to take some extended trips. She went to Greece and Turkey one summer and Egypt the next.
Cassie advises young alumni, "If you don't stay involved with the University right after you graduate, you tend to lose the connection. My advice is 'don't wait.' Stay involved. We have a strong community."