By Shawn Johnson
While Lynn’s growing population of international students stands as the cornerstone of the campus, Grant Benno’s story reveals a native flourishing under the many advantages of being a Fighting Knight.
A second semester sophomore, Benno originally called Fairview, Texas his home prior to college. Being just 35 minutes north of Dallas, he came to love the many teams in the area. From the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium to the Baylor Bears’ McLane Stadium, Benno’s close proximity to these energy-packed venues brought him to love sports with a passion.
Fittingly, Benno’s fascination with all things athletic forced him to look towards sports management when high school came to a close. Considering Lynn’s notable sports management program, the college decision-making process eventually proved to be quite simple. However, the program itself was not the most significant factor in his decision, as his appreciation for technology took center stage.
“I chose Lynn because they are an Apple Distinguished School,” said Benno. “Their impressive status as the first school in the world to have a 1:1 ratio with the iPad Pro definitely swayed my decision.”
Still, the sports management program opened his eyes on numerous issues within the sports world. The unique degree program allowed Benno and other selected students to travel to the 2017 Final Four in Phoenix this past spring. Finally, Benno saw his sports enthusiast dream come to life as he and the other Lynn students entered the University of Phoenix stadium, home to the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL.
“The trip to the Final Four blew my mind by some of the tasks we completed,” said Benno. “My favorite part was escorting Gonzaga into Fan Fest. My job [was essentially] stalking Przemek Karnowski and Nigel Williams-Goss that night, [where I] ensured they had everything they needed and made it to their press conferences on time.”
However, the trip to Phoenix, combined with other experiences in the program, showed Benno that the business side of sports was not for him. In fact, his first year at Lynn revealed something quite separate – his real purpose. This genuine purpose convinced him to change his major, resulting in his current academic position of being a general business major with a minor in education.
Hoping to one day pursue a Ph.D. in education leadership, Benno now understands the value of making the classroom a better place for future students. No longer does he wish to see students submit assignments simply for the sake of passing. Instead, Benno insists on an educational environment where students gain life skills, standing as the foundation for the mission statement he has established for education to truly improve.
“[We must] create a positive learning environment that embodies a strong culture of integrity, teamwork, responsiveness and innovation, allowing students to realize their full potential and ability to achieve success,” said Benno. “It is one thing to ensure students feel as if they belong, but it is completely different to make students know they are a part of something greater than themselves.”
With these unwavering thoughts on altering education, Benno has lofty aspirations for life beyond academics. Once he has left an impact on campus, he hopes to eventually become the CEO of Apple Inc. In that position, Benno plans to show the world how to beneficially use technology in the classroom, applying all of the experiences he has uncovered at Lynn.