In The Light: Faith Benson

Senior Faith Benson, from Allegany, N.Y., has taken full advantage of the opportunities present at Colgate. While concentrating in both international relations and Middle Eastern studies and Islamic civilization, Benson finds time for more than just academics at school. 

Benson is a Max A. Shacknai Center for Outreach, Volunteerism, and Education (COVE) awareness-building intern, spinning instructor and Konosioni intergroup relations chair. Finding herself immersed in extra-curriculars, Benson has also utilized the University’s study abroad program. She traveled to Geneva last semester with the Colgate international relations program.

“It absolutely changed my life and made me more willing to take risks and do things that are not necessarily within my comfort zone,” Benson said. “I was lucky enough to go abroad with a group of incredible people who are still such a great support system for me here at Colgate.”

The study abroad experience, although enticing, was not the only factor that contributed to Benson’s decision to apply to Colgate.

“My brother graduated from Colgate in 2006, so I’ve always kind of known that I was going to come here – it’s always seemed like a home away from home,” she said. “I tried to apply when I was 12 but was told that I had to wait until I graduated high school.”

Colgate has also provided Benson with the opportunity to grow personally. She has found a large source of inspiration among her peers that has influenced her to become active in the college community. From high school on, Benson has somewhat restructured the ways in which she contributes.

“In high school I was the kind of person that made my friends pay a dollar to watch a movie about the Lost Boys of Sudan and called it a ‘fundraiser.’ I like to think I’ve grown a bit since then,” she said.

Like many Colgate students, Benson finds her involvement in extra-curricular activities to be one of the highlights of her college experience.

“My Colgate experience really took a 180-degree turn when I went on a COVE alternative break trip to the Dominican Republic during my sophomore year,” Benson said. “I met some amazing people from all across Colgate’s campus and learned a lot about service learning.”