A Conversation with Cassandra Pisieczko
Sandie, we saw you last in Body Awareness. What have you been doing since then?
I was on sabbatical from BTE for a year. During that time I started to explore a new passion of mine for genetics, and in particular, genetic counseling. I've been fortunate enough to work at the Genomic Medicine Institute at Geisinger. I've worked on two projects- the MyCode Community Health Initiative, and the the Alpha Phi Women's Heart to Heart Project.
Did you always have a passion for science as well as art?
I think so. My mother is a science teacher. Though I certainly prioritized art over science, I'm trying to use what I've learned through my art to study and tell the story of science and in particular, genetics.
Would you say this is a new life path for you?
I would. It's my goal now to go back to school to get my masters in Genetic Counseling. I'm currently working as a Genomic Medicine Assistant at Geisinger, assisting the Genetic Counselors in Maternal Fetal Medicine.
Where did this new passion come from?
It's actually two new passions. One for genetic counseling and two for patient advocacy, supporting people with genetic cancer conditions. A couple of years ago, I myself was diagnosed with cancer and found out I have a genetic cancer condition called Lynch Syndrome. Through that experience, my interest for genetics was reawakened. I'm doing well, and I want to empower other people to know that they can live and live well with a condition like mine. We're living in an amazing time. If you want to learn more about Lynch Syndrome, talk to me. And if you're concerned about genetic conditions in your family, ask your PCP to refer you to a licensed genetic counselor.
You are now listed as a Resident Associate Ensemble Member at BTE. Will we still be seeing your work at BTE?
You already have. During my sabbatical I did the sound design for Every Christmas Story Ever Told, and The Foreigner. I recently designed the sound for The Diary of Anne Frank and hope to do more in the future. Admittedly it will be more behind the scenes, as I'm also taking classes to prepare to apply to graduate school. My years at BTE mean so much to me both through the artistry and the connection to the community. This new title allows me to stay connected with my BTE family while still pursuing this exciting new path.
Thanks for asking.