Scholar Athlete Celebrates Passion for Golf and Data Science as Graduation Nears

Friday, May 6, 2022

Jaime Cassell of Roanoke, VA will receive her master’s degree in Data Science and Business Analytics this month as a scholar athlete. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, she was on the Catawba College women’s golf team. 

The life of a student athlete is often described as being a full time job, but Jaime has always found it to be extremely rewarding. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, she was a four-year starter for the Catawba College women's golf team. By upholding herself to scholarly standards, she has flourished here as an individual and developed critical professional skills such as teamwork, time management, and communication. When she wasn’t studying, Jaime could be found practicing her short game or teeing up with fellow teammates. She loved spending time at the University Recreation Center, UNC Charlotte’s multilevel fitness center featuring everything from squat racks to cooking classes. She also enjoyed admiring Charlotte’s beautiful city skyline at night after leaving her classes held at the Dubois Center at UNC Charlotte Center City building. 

Jaime was particularly drawn to studying data science because it combines some of her favorite subjects - mathematics and communications. As an undergraduate student at Catawba College, her passion for analytics sparked during a database course taught by Dr. Pamela Thompson. Thompson then became Jaime’s academic advisor at Catawba. Dr. Thompson made a powerful impact on Jaime by pushing her to expand her knowledge and develop a well rounded education. When Jaime started researching graduate programs for data science, Dr. Thompson turned her on to the School of Data Science here at UNC Charlotte. Jaime was thrilled to have the opportunity to take one of Dr. Thompson’s courses here as a graduate student as well. Remarking on her experience learning from her, Jaime says, “she continues to influence me to have a drive to achieve greatness both in school, work and life.”

This influence is very apparent, as Jaime is already applying her analytical skills in the workforce. “I strive to make an impact on business decisions through data analytics by presenting insights through various data visualizations”, says Cassell. Currently employed as a Category Analyst at Trane Technologies, Jaime adds a new perspective to her close-knit team. Most of her colleagues are well versed in supply chain management rather than data analytics, so Jaime’s fresh eyes are very valuable to the group when making decisions. 

Before we send Jaime off to graduate, she leaves some valuable advice for any prospective students considering a path in data science. She stresses the importance of being curious, which she learned from her mentor and manager during her internship with TIAA. This includes asking questions, doing further research, and networking to gain a stronger understanding of topics. 

“Technology is evolving everyday, so we should continue to be curious and explore the ever changing data world.”