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 an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.