Bryanna BenvenutiBaldwin Place, NY
Academic SchoolSocial and Behavioral Sciences
What brought you to Marist originally? Did you know you wanted to study education?
I was interested in attending Marist because of my sister, who went through the five-year master’s program and had an outstanding experience. I knew that I wanted to work with children from an early age. In fact, I began babysitting at 13 years old, and this is what sparked my interest in teaching.
What are some highlights of your Marist experience, both academic and extracurricular?
Some highlights of my Marist experience include participation in the Dance Ensemble, Kappa Delta Pi (the International Honor Society in Education), and the five-year master’s program. I have been a dancer since I was two years old, and joining the Dance Ensemble was one of the best decisions I have made. During my junior year, I ran for an executive board position and became the group’s social media manager. I was also inducted into Kappa Delta Pi my junior year. Lastly, I applied to be a part of the five-year Master of Arts in Educational Psychology program during my sophomore year, and I am currently completing it.
Have you studied abroad?
I did not study abroad; however, I did have the chance to go on a two-week extension program to Hawaii, which was offered through the Psychology/Special Education programs. This was by far one of the most amazing experiences I have had at Marist. During this program, I observed a number of classrooms and reflected on the various cultures found in the schools we visited.
What does your current student teaching assignment involve? Have you had other student teaching/internship experiences?
I will be starting my student teaching placement this semester in a third-grade general education classroom at Chancellor Livingston Elementary School in Rhinebeck. This placement will last seven weeks, and then I will student teach in a first-grade inclusion classroom at Hillside Elementary School in Hastings-on-Hudson. I am extremely eager and excited for this to begin. Other fieldwork placements I have had include Clinton Elementary School in Poughkeepsie, Violet Avenue Elementary School in Hyde Park, and Highland High School in Highland. These experiences have allowed me to take the theories I’ve learned throughout my college career and incorporate them into the classroom.
Are there any specific faculty members who have really had an impact on you?
There are several faculty members in my program who have positively impacted me. One professor I’d specifically point to is [Associate Professor of Education] Carol Rinke, who has taught STEM classes. I have always been nervous about teaching math and science, but I learned so many important strategies and tools in Dr. Rinke’s classroom that will help me become a successful teacher. Additionally, we worked together on a research article called “Strategizing the Way to Math Mastery,” which is currently in the process of being published in the Parents League Review.
How well do you feel your Marist educational experience is preparing you for a career in teaching?
I feel as though Marist is preparing me very well for my future career. It has helped me become a well-rounded individual who is able to take the theories I’ve learned and put them to practice. For instance, I am currently using the skills I’ve learned at Marist to teach children with autism at Hudson Valley Behavioral Solutions in Hopewell Junction.
Any advice or insights you’d share with students considering applying to Marist?
Marist has a deservedly great reputation, and students graduate with an amazing experience. I highly recommend coming to Marist, especially for those who are looking to become teachers. The programs the College offers, both academic and extracurricular, have exceeded my expectations. I will miss Marist after I graduate this spring.
Professionally, where would you like to see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I would like to see myself teaching in my hometown area, which is located in Westchester County. I am also hoping to teach dance, either inside or outside the school where I am working.