Senior Antonian Honors project highlights Sisters of St. Joseph

Josie Benzie ’22 presents her senior honors project to a group of CSJs.

Josie Benzie ’22, at right, presents her senior Antonian Honors project to a group of CSJs and St. Kate's community members.

On April 7 students, faculty, staff, and Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet (CSJs) gathered to support Josie Benzie ’22, biology major and Antonian Honors student, as she presented her senior honors project. Titled “The Sisters Next Door: Stories of Influential Women Pushing the Boundaries of Advocacy and Education in Pursuit of a More Just World,” Benzie's honors project was a year-long endeavor focused on interviewing CSJs, gathering their stories, and sharing them with the community.

The CSJs are "strong and honest, and don't shy away from tasks that seem too daunting," Benzie says. "My hope is that the stories of these women help us all to be brave and bold, and most importantly, as kind and loving to all of those around us as they have.”

Benzie's first connection to the CSJs occurred in fall 2020 through an honors seminar on women and aging.

"I loved the relationships I saw form between St. Kate’s students and the Sisters in that short amount of time, and knew I wanted to know more about this group of women," Benzie recalls. She was inspired by the service-learning in the seminar to step outside her biology major and document their stories. "For this project I was lucky enough to sit down with nine amazing Sisters of St. Joseph, listen to their life’s work, and now share those stories with the community. Getting to know them was a gift that I will forever treasure."

On Tuesday, May 17, Carondelet Village hosted an event on Josie's work where many — including CSJs — gathered to hear her presentation and see the posters with CSJ stories.

"I was so impressed by how Josie got inspiration for her honors project from the connections she made with the Sisters through her honors service-learning class, and then developed it into something that has value and impact for the broader community," says Rafael Cervantes, PhD, director of the Antonian Honors Scholars Program and associate professor of Communications Studies. "We are already working on ways to expand on her project so we can involve more CSJs and students."

Read the Sisters' stories


About Antonian Honors at St. Kate's

The Antonian Honors Program is part of the Office of Scholarly Engagement, the University hub for engaged learning.

See senior honors project presentations from spring 2022.

Find out more about being a St. Kate's Antonian Honors student on the Honors Community Google site.