Debra Casey takes on the world

By Ryan McLaughlin
October 17, 2012

Ever wonder what kind of drive it takes to go for a Ph.D.? Besides the will to succeed, the new assistant professor of business and coordinator of the human resources degree program had some other insight about what gave her the drive.

“By the time I left the practice of law, I had begun to specialize in labor and employment law,” Dr. Debra Casey said. “I like that area very much – largely because it is immediately comprehensible to everyone. Everyone works! Or has worked. Or will work.”

Casey talks about wanting to make a difference in the larger work world.

“Something I thought I could do better with a Ph.D. than as a practicing lawyer,” Casey said. With a goal of improving the work world, one can start to understand the person behind the professional.

Coming off very modest, when asked what makes her unique, Casey admits we are all unique.

“I am unique because we are each unique … and that is why it is always so exciting to find even simple commonalities with each other,” Casey said.

Before teaching and being a lawyer, Casey held a few other jobs.

“I’ve worked since I was 14 – fast food, retail, temporary office help, IBM data programmer, lifeguard, bartender, server … oh, my,” Casey said.

Before taking on the world and defending the people in it, one can see how an ordinary individual can arise to be an extraordinary person with the right motivation and determination.

Motivation can come from many different places but for Casey it comes from the people around her.

“My students, my colleagues, my family … whenever I am feeling unmotivated or low energy, I can always count on somebody to say or do something that reminds me of why I got out of bed in the morning,” Casey said.

Casey went to Lebanon Valley College which she commented was a lot smaller when she went there than it is now. At LVC she became a supporter of small classes and a liberal arts education. While at LVC, Casey was a biology and psychology double major.

“Can you believe I lived in an all-girl dorm on a “dry campus” that permitted no alcohol? And it was awesome.” Some may find that hard to believe but coming from a person like Casey, anything is possible.

Talking about the reason she came to Cabrini, Casey said, ”The reason – the one reason – I came to Cabrini was the social justice mission. ‘Do something extraordinary.’ I’m hooked – if I’m going to work hard and leave my nice cozy bed, I might as well do something extraordinary! Or at least try … and Cabrini is a very special place where everyone can contribute, with others, to bettering the world.”

Although she is just getting settled here, Casey commented about how nice everyone was and how welcome she feels here.

“I’m still super new, and have a lot to learn and a lot of adjusting to do. However, this is one special place,” Casey said.

A special place indeed, and although Casey has led many different paths in life she fits in perfect right here.

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Ryan McLaughlin

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