Lisle, Illinois ~ If Harry Potter conjured a spell to create the perfect student-athlete, imbuing her with the wisdom of an owl and the athleticism of a cheetah, surprise ingredients might include cookies and frappe cappuccinos.
And the magic words he would utter would be “Candice Cuppini!”
Cuppini is not only a powerful outside hitter who has amassed more than 500 kills during her first two volleyball seasons at Benedictine University while carrying an impressive 3.9 GPA in the classroom, she is also a devoted sister and baker who balances her commitment to her studies, sport and family with a slight obsession for sweets.
“Most people know that I play volleyball, and the people who know me really well know that I love cookies,” Cuppini said.
The daughter of Michael and Julia Cuppini of Bloomington, Ill., Cuppini can now also add National Conference for College Women Student Leaders (NCCWSL) scholarship recipient to her list of accolades.
Cuppini, a sophomore at Benedictine, was awarded a 2012 National Women’s College Leadership Scholarship to attend the NCCWSL conference May 31-June 2 at the University of Maryland, College Park.
She is one of two area college students to earn the scholarship to attend the prestigious conference, which promotes and honors the leadership roles of women.
Cuppini, who was nominated anonymously, was presented the award after submitting a resume, an essay and a list of her extracurricular activities, which include Office of Admissions student ambassador, student tutor, community volunteer at Almost Home Kids, and First Team All-Northern Athletics Conference.
She has also been on the Dean’s List each semester at Benedictine and was valedictorian of her graduating class at University High School in Normal, Ill.
Attending the conference will allow Cuppini to enhance her leadership skills.
“I want to learn more about leadership so that I can become a better leader, and ultimately, a better doctor,” she said.
Cuppini plans to attend medical school following graduation from Benedictine.
“I'm not sure what type of medicine I want to practice,” she said. “I shadowed an OB-GYN and I loved it – there are so many factors that contribute to having a healthy baby and a healthy mother and I would love to learn more about it.
“I'm looking forward to doing rotations in medical school to get more exposure to different specialties,” Cuppini added.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. A 2016 PayScale Inc. report ranked BenU one of the top 10 colleges in Illinois for return on investment and in the top 20 percent nationally. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.