Aaron Cassill

Professor, Biology

Aaron Cassill


Languages: English, Français

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. My parents were both artists but I loved science and went to Harvard to study physics, planning to teach at the college level. I switched my area of study to forestry and then molecular genetics but stayed focused on becoming a teacher. After graduating, I worked as a tissue culture technician for 2 years at the MIT Center for Cancer Research and then went to the University of California, San Diego for my Ph.D. in Biology. I started a postdoc at the University of California, San Francisco but moved back to UCSD after a year, in part so I could marry my wife, Mary McNaughton-Cassill. Our twin daughters, Carolyn and Julia, were born in San Diego. We all moved to San Antonio in 1994 so I could start in the Biology Department at UTSA. My wife joined the Psychology faculty in 1998. We are the only married couple in Texas who have both won the UT Regents’ Outstanding Teacher Award and the Piper Professorship. Back in the day when Honors College students voted for their commencement speaker, we were selected to give 10 of 32 of the talks. When I first arrived at UTSA, I did research on insect signal transduction but now concentrate on studying factors which prevent students from successfully graduating. I am the Associate Program Director for the MARC/RISE programs which assist underrepresented students find careers in science. I teach intro Bio and Genetics and Honors Seminars on Human Behavior. I enjoy teaching the Honors classes because the students are so flexible and open to new ideas so I can cover many interesting and novel topics.

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