2015 Political Science Young Alumni Award
New Jersey Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande ’99 Political Science represents the 11th Legislative District, serving her fourth term. As the assistant Republican leader, she is a member of the Appropriations, Financial Institutions and Insurance and the Women and Children committees.
Casagrande began her political career at Penn State, where she was elected student body president. After graduating Rutgers School of Law she returned to Monmouth County to practice law. Casagrande served as a partner in the firm of Menna, Supko and Casagrande, in Shrewsbury, and as municipal attorney to Manalapan Township and special counsel to Fair Haven.
She is founder and director of the Young Women's Leadership Institute, a program designed to nurture leadership skills of select high school juniors.
The Governor chose Casagrande to serve as a commissioner on the Congressional Redistricting Committee, which redrew the state’s Congressional districts. As a leading Republican, she concentrates on strengthening the economy by improving the workplace for women and families as well as ensuring ethics reform, fiscal responsibility, and tax relief.
The National Foundation for Women Legislators chose Casagrande as one of its 2014 Elected Women of Excellence Award winners. She also received the 2014 Child Advocate of the Year Award from the New Jersey Alliance for Children, Youth and Families. Casagrande was also given the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and the Taxpayer Champion Award by the New Jersey Taxpayers Alliance. The Assemblywoman is a recipient of the Today's Youth Asia Young Achievers Award and was named a 2013 “NJ Rising Star” by Gannett Company, Inc.
In 2010, she participated in an exchange program to Nepal as a delegate of the American Council of Young Political Leaders, an affiliate of the U.S. Department of State. In 2013, Casagrande was part of a bipartisan delegation to Israel as part of the American Jewish Committee’s Project Interchange.
The Penn State Alumni Association honored Casagrande in 2010 with the Alumni Achievement Award for those alumni reaching an extraordinary level of achievement by age 35 or younger. She is a resident of Colts Neck, N.J., where she lives with her husband Stephen Chance and two sons Harrison and Teddy.