NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

A look into the mind: The Story of Elizabeth Casanave

“I’m driven to be constantly improving myself – growing into a better person, a more caring, contributing, productive member of society.” says UMass Lowell’s Graduate Programs Advisor and psychology and philosophy professor here at NECC, Elizabeth Casanave, who has long been fascinated with the mind and life’s large ideas.

Casanave received her bachelor’s degree from Principia College in Elsa, Illinois and went on to accept her master’s degree, which combines the areas of psychology, philosophy and education, from UMass Boston. She is currently working on obtaining her Ph.D. at UMass Lowell.

She says “I’m working on my Ph.D. and my research is focused on integrating diverse perspectives of self-knowledge into the higher ed. classroom to improve social and emotional well-being.”

From rural Arkadelphia, Arkansas, young and inquisitive Casanave grew up with memorable childhood friends, a love for animals and many talents. She sang in the school choir, swam on the swim team for 18 years and was even editor of her highschool newspaper.

She says “I had very supportive parents who always encouraged me to learn, grow, do my best but they never made me feel pressured or anxious.” Now with a family of her own, she is most proud of raising her two boys.

Casanave enjoys the outdoors, anywhere from walking and gardening to swimming and hiking. She’s also fond of reading and her dog. She’s also passionate about learning and her teaching and strives to increase her patience both in and out of the classroom. She stands for civil rights and abhor’s narrow-mindedness, greed, arrogance, prejudice, violence, and discrimination.

Casanave says “I think a lot about what gives life meaning, about reality versus perception, about what it means to be a good person, about how best to support the people I love, and what it means to be a good friend.  I think about how to improve my courses, help students social and emotional learning and critical thinking skills, and support student success. I think about how we can make the world a more equitable place, better protect the environment, and improve animal rights.”