University of Central Florida Professor Cynthia Benson, 63, has been teaching political science since 1980. She grew up during the 1960s political revolutions, and now she passes on what she witnessed to her students.
”I wanted to make a difference and talk to students because the country is in their hands,” Benson said.
Benson wears clothes that prove she lived in the hippie era. She 's always got a story to tell and she 's always willing to help people, even if she does not know them well. Her glasses reveal that she reads both in her spare time and for the classes she teaches. She is a learned individual who believes in the good of the world.
“She was a great teacher,” said Wesley Bengoa, pre-med sophomore. “She knew how to captivate her students with both current events and her comedic hippie demeanor.”
Benson’s father was involved with local politics in suburban Cincinnati. Although he never ran for office, he was on the city charter committee and attended city council meetings.
Benson followed in his political footsteps, deciding to study political science instead of history, and became involved with local politics. She worked for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the Miami International Airport, checking documents for international passengers. She has since taught at UCF.
Benson said social interaction teaches students to think and solve pr...
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“What’s happened to the sense of dignity, honor and integrity? Do people know what it is to live an honorable life? Even common courtesy is disappearing. People are on their phones in the grocery store. They can’t hang up the phone to talk to an actual human being,” Benson said.
Politics is not the only thing that interests Benson. Nature is also a big part of her life. She used to go on hikes around the Everglades and on other nature trails. She is more at peace among the trees, lakes and creatures.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who tried to make a difference. And I tried to make a difference by my contact with people, whether that’s in the grocery store or through my teaching,” Benson said. “I try to get people to care about something other than themselves and to try to think about the meaning of life. To try to make the world a little better.”
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