Meet the Staff: Emily

We would like to introduce Emily Benintendi to the CCE Blog! She is from Hamilton, Ohio and is a junior Adolescent to Young Adult Education major at the University of Dayton, and her concentration is in Integrated Mathematics.

What do you do at the CCE? I was the summer intern for the Center for Catholic Education over the summer this year (2016). I spent my summer on campus and did office work for the Center, as well as helped with the preparation for the Summit and for the Teaching as Ministry Conference coordinated by the Marianists. I also did research on STREAM curriculum in schools and on the Workshop Way philosophy of education.

Describe your family: I come from an all-around big family. I am the oldest of four girls, my dad is one of six, and my mom is one of eight. So, there are more aunts, uncles, and cousins than I can count in my family. Get-togethers are fun - there’s a lot of food, noise, laughter, and love.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Free time? What’s that? Just kidding. When I find a free moment, I’m really into music. I’ve played piano since I was 7 years old, and I still like to sit down and teach myself new things on the piano. I also tinker on the guitar a little, but I’m not very good yet.

Why do you support Catholic Education? I believe in Catholic Education because I believe faith formation is essential to a child’s development as a whole. I think it is important to include spirituality when trying to raise kids to be good people. My Catholic Education played such a large role in who I’ve become, and I would like other students to get to experience the union of learning and faith.

What Catholic Education topic are you most passionate about? The Sacraments. I think there is so much beauty, but also so much mystery, in the Sacraments. They are wonderful sources of grace, and for those we get to experience more than once, I find that I am learning or experiencing something new each time.

Why do you look forward to coming to work every day? I currently don’t really have a job, but I consider school to be my job. I love learning new things, so all the late nights doing homework are worth it because learning new things is exciting. I do have a part-time job on campus, but I don’t really consider it work. I am an Undergraduate Music Minister on campus, so I am in charge of planning and making music for Mass. I really enjoy it because it combines my love of music with my love of the Catholic faith and it is a unique way for me to serve the campus community.

What is one piece of advice you would give to Catholic Educators? Talk about the difficult things. I think in the society we live in today it’s easy to avoid talking about the issues we’re facing with students. But I think it is important to teach them how to civilly disagree about things and how to understand, interpret, and explain the teachings of the Church.

Who is your role model? My parents are both incredible role models for me, but if I had to choose one, I would choose my mom. We like all the same things, and we can talk about anything. My relationship with her is one of the most important in my life. She has been a constant model of strength, selflessness, and love of the Lord. She has set a wonderful example for me and my sisters, and I am always learning from her.

Tell us three fun facts about you: I love dogs; I actually have three of them at home. I really like to travel and visit new places, but I’ve never been out of the United States. I really, really love ice cream; my favorite flavor is mint chocolate chip.
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