Q&A - Casey Benford

The second-annual NCAA Division III Week runs from Monday, April 8, to Sunday, April 14. To help in this week-long celebration of all the attributes that makes Division III great, the MIAC Media Blog is highlighting some of the members of the conference's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
The MIAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) supports student-athletes by providing the communication of ideas and concerns between student-athletes and the MIAC within a structure that will promote active involvement. MIAC SAAC is also committed to engaging in campus and community service projects and to serving as positive role models for their peers and younger student-athletes.

Join us in celebrating Division III athletics throughout the week, and get to know some of the MIAC SAAC student-athletes. Happy Division III Week!

MIAC Media Blog - Division III Week SAAC Q&A
Casey Benford, Hamline University

Name: Casey Benford
School: Hamline University
Sport: Baseball
Year: Senior
Hometown: Mesa, Ariz.
Major: Psychology (Biology minor)

MIAC: What do you think is the most important aspect of NCAA Division III that should be celebrated during Division III Week?

BENFORD: I think it's important that we celebrate the well-roundedness of our student athletes. Division III gives us the unique opportunity to continue playing the sport we love, along with getting a top-notch education. Student-athletes in our Division have to work hard to get a prestigious degree, find a way to give back to their nearby community, all while also meeting the high demands of their athletic program.

MIAC: What is your favorite aspect of being a Division III and MIAC student-athlete?

BENFORD: I know that I'm very lucky to have the opportunity to continue my athletic career so, for that, I'm thankful. Division III has been the perfect fit for me in terms of being held to a high academic standard along with a high athletic standard, in that order. My favorite part of being a MIAC student-athlete is our location in the Twin Cities, playing in some great colligate settings, and our proximity to other institutions.

MIAC: Name someone at your school who has made a huge impact on either your athletic or academic career. How has their guidance influenced you?

BENFORD: Jason Verdugo, former head baseball coach and current athletic director, has made a huge impact on who I am today. He has taught me to have an internal fire and intensity for athletics as a whole, the importance of clear communication, attention to details, what it means to truly buy into a program and how powerful of a tool it can be to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations.

MIAC: What's your favorite athletic moment of your college career so far?

BENFORD: Favorite athletic moment was definitely when our baseball team went on to win the MIAC Playoff championship in 2011. By far, nothing else even comes close.

Hamline celebrates its 2011 MIAC Playoff title.
Photo courtesy of Hamline University Sports Information
MIAC: What's your favorite non-athletic moment of your college career so far?

BENFORD: I'm glad I was a part of was being a New Student Mentor for first-year students, which included events during orientation and being a part of their first-year seminar class.

MIAC: What are your future plans, and how has your experience as a Division III student-athlete shaped you for success beyond college?

BENFORD: Some immediate future plans include an internship with Dr. Carlstedt, chair of the American Board of Sports Psychology in New York, N.Y., for two months this summer. After that, I plan on working in the Twin Cities while applying to graduate programs, potentially within psychology. My experience as a D-III student-athlete has taught me a ton of great skills I can apply to whoever I end up working for: how to be a humble team member, how to build an practical balanced schedule and to be able to perform difficult tasks in uncomfortable and high intensity situations, just to name a few.

MIAC: Thanks to Casey for joining the MIAC Media Blog's Q&A Series! Stay tuned to the blog throughout the week to get to know some of the conference's outstanding student-athletes, and visit the MIAC's Division III Week Home Page to see all the events and content throughout the conference through this very special week!

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