Cassidy Caudill’s time with the O’Neill School at IUPUI is coming to a close. The Master of Public Affairs candidate is set to complete her degree in December 2021 with a concentration in Policy Analysis. She currently works as a graduate assistant for enrollment management for the O’Neill School, but also serves as the chair for Paws’ Closet—a free on-campus clothing service for IUPUI students.
Paws’ Closet is just one of the ways in which Cassidy works to deliver on her commitment to Major in Making a Difference at O’Neill. She has also worked to advance advocacy of global poverty legislation.
“Civic engagement is important because I believe everyone has a responsibility to better their communities and the lives of the people around them through activities as simple as cleaning up trash around your neighborhood or as complex as advocating for social change,” Cassidy explains.
And her efforts earned her one of the university’s top honors: the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion. The award recognizes graduates who have made an incredible impact on their community.
“When I heard I was a recipient of the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion, I was shocked,” she admits. “I am honored to be included among such an impressive selection of students and I am proud of myself for my contributions to Indianapolis and IUPUI throughout my time as an undergraduate.”
Those contributions have come with the support of O’Neill faculty and staff, which gave her confidence and motivation early in her college experience to get more involved in her community.
“Faculty and staff were incredibly supportive of my interests and pushed me to apply what I was learning in my classes to make an impact,” she says.
And she’s done just that, not only for the community but also for herself. Cassidy says she’s grown as a leader through her civic engagement experiences. They helped her understand she has the skills and ability to make positive change no matter where she ends up—and she encourages other students to do the same.
“Getting involved at IUPUI and in Indianapolis completely changed my college experience,” she says. “Other students should get involved if they want to feel more connected to their community and improve the lives of others around them.”