Cassandra Ascenzi graduated from York University in June 2022 with a combined Honours Bachelor of Arts Political Science degree and Professional Certificate in Public Administration and Law. Prior to pursuing this program, she graduated from York University in June 2020 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Specialization in Honours Music degree.
During her time at York University, she held the position of Composition & Theory Representative for the York University Music Student’s Association (MSA). In this role, she liaised with composition and theory-focused students and faculty, and played an active role in the development and implementation of policy for both the Association and York University’s Music program as a whole.
Over the course of her study, she has pursued research on a variety of topics within the realms of political science, public policy, public domestic and international law, and multilateral and global governance, including immigrant detention in the United States and Canada, the staffing shortage and financial collapse of Canadian long-term care homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prison industrial complex and its particular effects on women of colour. For her research, she utilizes a feminist theoretical lens to identify the disparities political, social, economic, and public policy changes engender on women, 2SLGBTQIA+, and racialized persons within the regions they reside in. During her time in the M.A.G.G. program, she plans to apply this lens to an additional focus she has on how existing regional and global public health policy most particularly affects women’s and non-binary persons’ health, social, and economic outcomes.
Outside of academia, she has worked as a civil servant for both the Ontario provincial government and the Toronto municipal government. Most recently, she worked as a Policy and Programs Assistant at the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) as a part of the 2022 iteration of the Ontario Public Service’s Student Employment Opportunities summer program. In this role, she undertook policy work conducting research on legislation, policies, trends, qualitative and quantitative data, government and stakeholder reports, and jurisdictional scans; and created policy reports, presentations, and briefs for a number of the major policy and program issues of focus within the Ministry.
In the future, she hopes to gain a career working either in federal, provincial, or municipal government; or at a non-governmental organization (NGO) or think tank. Regardless of where her future lies, she hopes to make a difference for and contribute to the betterment of the people and societies around her in an impactful way.