Experiencing Mside: Cassy Huiras - Headed to Major League Turf
Second year Morningside College Biology major Cassy Huiras is headed for Major League Baseball this summer and fall as an intern with the Washington Nationals.
Cassy, a native of Hopkins, Minn., will be one of four turf management interns. Her primary responsibility will be the bullpen, helping to ensure the relief pitchers and catchers have what they need when they warm up during games. She will also be responsible for assisting the grounds crew as needed.
“The coolest part is that the four of us get to sit right behind home plate every home game to watch how the ball is playing off the infield, hopping off the grass, and to be ready if something goes wrong or the umpires need us,” said Cassy.
The search for an internship actually began a little late for Cassy, but worked out thanks to Applied Agricultural & Food Studies Internship/Externship Coordinator Melissa Nelson. Nelson kept her focused and on track, helping her brainstorm internship options and make connections.
After completing many applications and interviews, Cassy ended up receiving three internship offers - two from Major League Baseball teams and one from a minor league team.
For Cassy, the job with the Nationals was the right choice.
“The Nationals’ internship program is very well established, and they allow interns to shadow in other areas of ballpark management if they wish. I am hoping to take advantage of that opportunity and get some experience shadowing clubhouse management.”
While Cassy is feeling well prepared for the internship thanks to her Morningside studies and experience, it wasn’t the path she originally intended when she enrolled at Morningside.
“I found Morningside when I was recruited to bowl and play softball. I visited campus and fell in love with the homey feel of campus. I knew I would never love anywhere like I love Morningside, so I signed on to play and enrolled as a Biology major.”
Cassy’s first year at Morningside gave her a lot of experience and opportunity to think about her future. One of the most pivotal experiences was attending the National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.
“I realized at the National FFA Convention that I really needed agriculture to be more of an emphasis in my studies. Dr. Tom Paulsen (Ag & Food Studies associate professor) has been very influential in my time here. He’s been an incredible mentor - as have all of my professors. But my experience with ag and Dr. Paulsen helped me find my direction,” said Cassy.
A summer internship at a golf course reinforced the decision and got Cassy thinking more specifically about turf management, as did getting deeply involved with the development of the campus garden, being active with Garden Club, and being named the student leader for Mentors in Science. She also decided to change lanes as an athlete, choosing to join the lacrosse team and assisting the staff with getting the program up and running.
Cassy attributes these changes to learning the important skills of balance and prioritization during her first year – two skills she advises incoming students to focus on developing.
“I have a deep love for sports and I’m a huge nature nerd. I even have three “nature” related minors at Morningside – Agronomy, Sustainability Studies, and Environmental Law & Policy. My love for the Earth runs deep. My time at Morningside has helped me bring all of it together and sort out what really matters to me.”
Cassy is hoping that her time with the Nationals will only be the beginning of this kind of work. After graduation she plans to work full-time with a major or minor league baseball team or at least stay involved with the sports industry in some way.
But first, Cassy’s has set sights on knocking her internship with the Nationals out of the park.
“I am more than certain that Morningside helped me land this gig, and because of that, I’m super excited to show the big leagues what a small school is capable of.”
Stay tuned to Morningside's Instagram account this summer as Cassy is planning to do a takeover to give a behind-the-scenes peek at her internship with the Nationals.