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October 23, 2014
Executive Director, Glenn Cassis
Glenn A. Cassis has been the Executive Director of the State of Connecticut African-American Affairs Commission since August 2006. He was raised on Long Island, New York and attended the University of Connecticut where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science and his graduate degree in arts administration. While at UConn, he was involved in the Student Union Board of Governors where he chaired the Black Experience Committee and later Vice President for Programming. He also was a member of the African-American Cultural Center and the WHUS radio station. As a graduate student he interned at the Albert N. Jorgensen Auditorium. While at UConn he produced concerts and jazz workshops.
Mr. Cassis began his professional career as a student personnel administrator at Oakland University (MI). He was the assistant director for student activities and the Oakland Center. He served as advisor for the concert and lecture series and the Black Student Union. In 1977, Mr. Cassis was appointed the Director of the Campus Center at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (formerly North Adams State College). His responsibilities included management of the campus center, student activities, campus wide scheduling, conferences, academic advising and student leadership development.
In 1987, Mr. Cassis was appointed the Executive Director of the Connecticut Pre-Engineering Program (CPEP). Under his leadership, the statewide educational enrichment program expanded from a single school district serving 43 students to 12 urban school districts serving more than 9,000 students. CPEP is a non-profit educational program that encourages underrepresented minority and female middle and high school students to pursue careers in science, technology, mathematics and engineering. Through grants and proposals, he was responsible for increasing the annual budget from $20,000 to $1.4 million.
The mission of the AAAC is to improve and promote the economic development, education, health, and political well being of the African-American community in the State of Connecticut, though advocacy, information sharing, cultural awareness, community networking and influencing legislation. Since joining the Commission, Mr. Cassis has provided testimony to the legislature, served on several commissions, assisted community organizations, presented at conferences and has been the keynote speaker at the UConn Health Center and Western Connecticut State University Upward Bound/ConnCAP Programs.
Mr. Cassis is active in several professional and non-profit organizations, including the American Society of Engineering Educators, the Southern New England Association of Technical Professionals, the Education Advisory Board of the Urban League of Greater Hartford, board member for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, past-president of the Connecticut Association of Education Opportunity Programs (CAEOP), a Fellow for the Connecticut Academy for Education, vice-president of the Bloomfield Education Foundation, treasurer for the National Association of Pre-College Directors, Trustee for Union Baptist Church and board member for the Bloomfield Raiders Youth Football. He has also served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and NASA.
Mr. Cassis enjoys reading, sports and jazz music. He plays tennis and is a certified ski instructor. His family is foster trainers for the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation.