Cassandra "Cassie" Verardi came to York Technical College six years ago where she was tasked with creating an Advising Center for the College. Since that time, she has provided transformational leadership to synthesize and enhance processes, policies, and practices to positively impact our students, and all faculty and staff. 

As a visionary, Cassie saw an opportunity to restructure the Advising center when key positions were vacated due to employee retirement. With a focus on the future and students' needs, she expanded the department to include three new positions that provide students with additional academic and career support. She has worked closely with other departments to better integrate career services and workforce events into her department, so staff are helping current students not only plan their courses but also prepare for their future careers. The Academic Coaching and Tutoring Center has become a vital part of student support, and with her oversight, the Learning Commons is a student-filled space that provides library services, study areas, gaming rooms and common space for large community events. 

As a co-leader of our Transfer Pathways Initiative, Cassie has been instrumental in the development of clear, easy pathways for our students to transfer to Winthrop, the creation of Meta Majors, and more. 

Cassie also serves as an application administrator and trainer for our student success platform known as Navigate. York Technical College has been recognized nationally for its innovative use of Navigate, receiving a national award from the Education Advisory Board (EAB) related to our Transfer Pathways to Winthrop. 

Beyond her dedication to her duties, Cassie is always eager to learn and grow from others in the profession. She also wants to support others by sharing what she has learned through her experience. Cassie has presented at the South Carolina Technical Education Association (SCTEA) Conference, the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Regional Conference, and the EAB Connected Conference, sharing strategies and futuristic ideas that others can replicate to better serve their communities. 

Lastly, Cassie not only serves as leader of Academic Support Services, a promotion she received in the past year, but she also collaborates with leadership across all divisions on campus. She is the Chairwoman of the Retention & Completion Committee, Open House Committee, and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Council for Academic & Student Affairs, Enrollment and Marketing committee, and New student Orientation Committee. With a true servant's heart, she is eager to find solutions and create partnerships that help every area of the College run efficiently and effectively, while removing any barriers to our students' success. 

In the short amount of time that Cassie has been at York Technical College, she has created and executed a vision that has positively impacted countless lives. As a servant leader, she never takes credit for the work and positive impacts of the departments and committees she leads. Instead, she gives praise to the team members and leadership of the College. Every day she brings an energetic positivity and warmth to the office as she works to build up others. If you spend the day with her, you will hear an encouraging word that causes a student to continue in their degree, praise to employees for their work on projects, and encouragement to students and colleagues to make their ideas and dreams a reality.

We are so grateful to have her on our staff. Congratulations Cassie! You are so deserving of this award!