By Donna Parker
Professionally, Trinity graduate Markettea Johnson Beneke ’73, ’77 has a powerful driving force behind her: “making cancer history.”
And, she has the determination and position to make that happen as the Cancer Medicine Department Administrator for Neuro-Oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
“We put our patients first and whatever we need to do after that, we do,” Markettea remarks about the patient-focused environment.
Markettea credits her Trinity experience for laying the foundation of her professional skills, stating, “I enrolled in the master’s program which opened a lot of doors for me. I’ll put Trinity up against any curriculum anywhere in health care administration.”
It was a Trinity brochure that first attracted Markettea to the campus. At the time she lived in a small town in Alabama and wanted a first-hand view of the world.
“Sight unseen, I sent an application and was accepted. Even though the curriculum was excellent and I learned so much academically, it was the campus atmosphere that was perfect for me.”
One aspect of that atmosphere in particular called to Markettea - Trinity’s spiritual life.
“The Rev. Raymond Judd, former University chaplain, and his wife, Mary Jane, were like my family away from home. I loved to sing and once they discovered my voice, I sang almost full-time during services.”
Now she shares that spirituality, along with her desire to be involved with her community, with her family, including children Leslie, Krystine, Charles Phillip and Angelica, who range in age from 31 to 11.
“They all give back to the community and are involved with charity in some aspect.”
Although Markettea credits her family and M.D. Anderson with helping her achieve her life’s goals, it’s important to note her own milestones that exemplify her personal success.
She recently was honored with the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Administration – a Citation for Excellence in Administration; the International Who’s Who of Professionals, and recognition as the 1981 Outstanding Young Woman of America.
She treasures traveling with her family and actually gifts a trip “anywhere they want to go” to each of her children when they graduate high school. Those trips have included London, Germany, and even the Southern U.S. to reconnect with their roots.
She also makes time to keep in touch with fellow Trinity alumni, saying, “I made friends for life and I am still in contact with them.”
Markettea’s academic experience at Trinity is far from over She already envisions herself back on campus; singing, studying, and getting reacquainted with her alma mater, laughingly adding, “Hurry up and get a Ph.D. program in my field! I’m waiting!”
For more information, email Markettea at firstname.lastname@example.org.