Danna Kasom

Danna Kasom
  • BS Biological Sciences 2014

Danna Kasom ‘14 is a health science specialist at the Department of Veteran Affairs, contributing her expertise to research teams dedicated to the evaluation and implementation of complementary and integrative health therapies as nonpharmacologic options for Veterans and addressing healthcare disparities among vulnerable Veteran populations, ensuring equitable access to quality care.

Kasom graduated from Michigan Tech magna cum laude in 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Sciences. While her initial intent was to pursue medicine, her experiences completely changed her mindset and her career instead progressed in the direction of government and public health. 

“Accepting that I wanted something else from one chapter of adulthood to the next was a challenge, but a necessary one,” said Kasom. “Unlearning is just as important as learning, but the ability to do both at the same time is paramount.”

Prior to her current position at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Kasom has had a variety of job experiences—some conventional, and some not. In addition to coaching youth soccer teams for nonprofit organizations, Detroit PAL and DC Scores, serving on the Detroit Lions Volunteer Energy Team, and authoring articles for Girls Soccer Network, Kasom has served in AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps, where she found a passion for identifying patterns across several human experiences.

“I fell in love with learning from a culture and its people instead of textbooks and brief patient histories,” she explains. “I became fascinated by behavior change, why people make the choices they do, and how we define what a better or healthier choice is or if one even exists.”

Kasom says that her experiences at Michigan Tech, both academically and athletically, prepared her for her career: “Michigan Tech prepared me to be very good at multitasking, a valued skill in the workforce. Now, I work on several different research teams and must multitask nearly every day.” Frequently recognized for her work ethic and teamwork, Kasom believes she would not be praised for those skills without her time at Michigan Tech.

In addition to taking classes and working in the Biological Learning Center as a student, Kasom was a member of the first-ever class of recruits for the Women’s Soccer team and remained on the team during her four years at Tech. In 2012, the team was named GLIAC Co-Champion, and in the fall of 2013, they won the GLIAC Quarterfinals in the last second of double overtime—a moment that made SportsCenter Top 10 Daily.

“I attribute our success to team chemistry and the desire to work hard. Not just to win, but for each other,” she said. “We may not have been the most talented team, but we had grit and resilience where other teams didn’t.”

Devoted to improving health outcomes, applying a health equity lens, and normalizing the importances of all dimensions of health and wellness, Kasom is a dedicated public health professional with experience serving underprivileged, vulnerable, and underserved communities of multiethnic backgrounds. 

“Being a part of a community is an incredible part of being human,” she said. “Contributing to the communities I’m a part of improves my quality of life and hopefully has the same effect on others. As an alumna, Michigan Tech is one of the many communities I belong to.”

In recognition of her volunteerism and ongoing work to enrich the lives of others and the welfare of humanity, Michigan Tech selected Kasom as its Humanitarian Award winner in 2024.

Updated May 2024