A faculty member at Bryn Mawr College since 1993, Cassidy served as the College's Provost from 2007-2013 and as Interim President from July 2013-February 2014.
During her tenure as Provost and Interim President, Cassidy was instrumental in leading a number of important initiatives. These initiatives include facilitating curricular renewal in collaboration with faculty leaders, the development of the College’s new interdisciplinary 360° courses, the introduction of new academic programs, including an International Studies major, and the advancement of digital initiatives within the classroom. Central to all these initiatives has been Cassidy’s unwavering support of the scholar/teacher model in which faculty research and the instruction of students are inextricably bound.
A leading proponent of using pedagogic research to enhance the liberal arts experience, Cassidy has led a program, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, piloting the use of blended learning (a combination of computer-based and classroom learning) in a liberal arts setting. Through this program, Bryn Mawr faculty have developed more than 20 courses across the curriculum that use the blended approach and have shared their findings and grant-funded resources with 39 of the other top liberal-arts colleges in the nation. Cassidy also believes strongly in the important role academic partnerships play for small liberal arts colleges like Bryn Mawr. In addition to her support of Bryn Mawr’s collaborative relationships with Haverford, Penn, and Swarthmore, Cassidy played a key role in the College securing a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to establish its first-ever partnership with two area community colleges. The grant supports outstanding students from those schools who transfer to Bryn Mawr to finish their undergraduate degree. Cassidy also led the effort to create a new 4+1 AB/ MA program in engineering with Penn’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Throughout the years, Cassidy has served on numerous committees steering academic and faculty life on campus and has been an active supporter of Bryn Mawr’s athletic and cultural programs.
Prior to her appointment as President, Cassidy served as Provost from 2007-2013 and as Chair of Bryn Mawr's Department of Psychology from 2004-2007. She earned her master’s degree in psychology and Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in psychology from Swarthmore College.
A developmental psychologist with a focus on cognition and education, Cassidy maintains a keen interest in the development of children's theories about the minds of others. She has won research grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. Her research has appeared in numerous journals including Cognition, Child Development, Developmental Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, and Psychological Bulletin and Review.