This week’s interview is with Danna Cassise. Danna is a Senior Employee Relations Specialist at the Library of Congress.
Describe your background.
I was born, raised, and educated in Kailua, Hawai’i, which is a sleepy beach town on the island of Oahu. I’ve lived in Eugene, OR; Atlanta, GA; San Francisco, CA; San Diego, CA; and Washington, DC. In addition to a very large extended family, I am married and have a son on the way.
What is your academic/professional history?
I received my B.A. in Psychology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 1998. I received my J.D. from the William S. Richardson School of Law in Honolulu, HI in 2005, and am licensed to practice law in the State of Hawai’i. Prior to receiving my J.D., I was a pre-school teacher, regional director for a non-profit organization, and legislative assistant for the Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women. I came to the Library of Congress through the Presidential Management Fellows Program after receiving my J.D. and have been here ever since.
How would you describe your job to other people?
I administer the Library’s discipline program. I help managers and supervisors deal with employees who have performance and/or conduct issues to ensure that they treat employees fairly and equitably, and in compliance with the law and Library regulations.
Why did you want to work at the Library of Congress?
I thought the opportunity to live and work in the Nation’s Capital would add legitimacy and credibility to my legal career, especially having been legally trained in an island community. I specifically wanted to work at the Library of Congress because of its reputation for being the Nation’s epicenter for knowledge. Once I toured the Library of Congress, I really wanted to work here because of the grandness of the Thomas Jefferson Building, especially the mosaic of Minerva, who is my favorite Greek goddess.
What is the most interesting fact you’ve learned about the Law Library of Congress? About the Library of Congress?
In regards to the Law Library, the Law Library houses most, if not all, published law review journals which can be searched through the online catalog, and I found it meaningful to be able to read law review articles that friends, including my husband, wrote years ago before I knew them.
In regards to the Library, I find it most interesting that the Library of Congress maintains obscure original publications of national importance such as preliminary drafts of the Constitution with Jefferson’s handwritten edits and first editions of many iconic comic books (and I got to see them with my own eyes).
What’s something most of your co-workers do not know about you?
If I could pursue any other profession and do it well, I would be a cinematographer known for my expansive shots of vast terrain and immense landscapes.