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About Dr. Casagrande

A Short Biography

I received my BS in chemistry from Brown and my Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford. I worked for over 11 years in the advanced materials laboratory for Grumman Aerospace and Northrop Grumman, working on the chemistry and materials science of electronic, optical, and structural materials. I taught chemistry and physical science from 2003 to 2005 at Summit High School before coming to Westfield. I have my teaching certificate in Physical Science, and I am highly qualified to teach both chemistry and physics.


I enjoy music, and I play the piano and trombone. I played in numerous pit orchestras, swing, and jazz bands from my high school years through graduate school, and I played in both the Brown and Stanford “Marching” (read: “Scatter”) Bands. As a member of the Stanford Band, I have the distinction of participating in “The Play” in November, 1982, when the band the wrong place at the wrong time. Here is a link to a Sports Illustrated article 25 years later, with proof–my picture is toward the bottom of the article!


I am also an avid cyclist and general fitness buff, and can be found cruising the roads from Summit to Chester, Bernards to Mountainside during the Summer and nice days the other three seasons. I teach Spinning® at the Summit YMCA as a complement to my road cycling and to stay in shape when the weather turns chilly. When the snow comes, I (temporarily) hang up my wheels for skis, and I particularly enjoy hitting the bumps.