Joshua Bennett: Many Hats
February 25, 2013
The most important hat the Fort Worth native wears is that of a senior finance major on a Carr Academic Scholarship set to graduate in December of 2013. Right next to that is the hat Bennett sports as a member of the ASU Honors Program. Wearing that hat in February, he represented ASU at the annual Air Force Academy Assembly in Colorado that was themed “China-U.S. Relations 2018: Conflict or Cooperation?” Speakers included retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Daniel Leaf, former deputy commander of U.S. Pacific Command, and John Huntsman, former U.S. Ambassador to China.
“Since China’s economy is supposed to eclipse ours in 2018, we talked about exactly that – is there going to be conflict or cooperation?” Bennett said. “We attended seminars led by expert speakers who gave us their opinions on what is going to happen. Then we broke up into smaller groups to discuss the topics with other leaders.”
Bennett’s group included students from West Point Military Academy, Pepperdine University and Tufts University, among others.
“I was amongst students from some pretty impressive institutions,” Bennett said. “We had some really interesting roundtable discussions about what we think is going to happen. We even had a lawyer from China who we were able to bounce ideas off of. It was a really neat experience.”
“We also got to tour the base where the Air Force Academy is located,” he added, “and we lived in the dorms with the active cadets. It was all very interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of being able to meet so many like-minded people. I may be a finance major, but I’m really interested in international affairs as well.”
“Being allowed to go different places like the Air Force Academy and represent the Honors Program has been an extraordinary experience, and I hope they know how grateful I am.”
Another hat Bennett wears on campus is that of a founding member of a team in the American Mock Trial Association (AMTA). Teams from universities throughout the region compete by prosecuting and defending fictitious court cases before a panel of legal experts.
“We met with local attorneys and local District Judge Jay Weatherby,” Bennett said. “Judge Weatherby is a fantastic guy, and he also brought in some of his attorney friends from UT-Austin and Baylor. We had a fake case of a drunk driver who ended up killing his passenger. We actually had three teams, the prosecution, defense and witnesses. Judge Weatherby and the others would watch us work the case and critique us.”
“We went to Houston to compete in 2012,” he added, “and we brought home the Spirit of AMTA Award. We were voted by all the representatives there from across the region as best exemplifying the qualities of true attorneys, so it was a big honor.”
Also fitted for a community service hat, Bennett serves on the board of the local Big Brothers Big Sisters organization through the Honors Program’s Community Leadership Initiative, is a representative in the Student Government Association and is a member of the BIGS student organization affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters.
Outside his studies and other campus activities, Bennett wears the hat of student hall director for ASU’s Texan Hall and Vanderventer Apartments residence complexes. He started out as a resident assistant (RA) before working his way up.
“Like any college student, I needed a job when I got here,” Bennett said, “but I didn’t just want a job to make money. I wanted to be able to serve in a leadership role in a job that would help improve me, and I think that is what the RA position does. I think it could do that for anyone, regardless of what kind of career they are heading for.”
Once he graduates from ASU, Bennett hopes to wear a hat with the initials FBI, DEA, ATF or other federal law enforcement agency. All the hats he has worn on the ASU campus have been in preparation for the one that he will wear long into the future.
“I can’t thank the Honors Program or its director, Dr. Shirley Eoff, enough because they have really been helpful to me,” Bennett said. “Being allowed to go different places like the Air Force Academy and represent the Honors Program has been an extraordinary experience, and I hope they know how grateful I am.”