Elizabeth Venuti, 47, spent much of her life on Long Island’s South Shore, growing up in Merrick and living in Massapequa for about 20 years. She now lives on the North Shore in Mill Neck. She went to Cornell in hopes of becoming a biology major, but ended up studying business instead. She’s currently an economics teacher at Hofstra University, and she’s working on a research paper about how grading methods vary from teacher to teacher. That’s only part of her story.
Venuti grew up in Merrick, New York. She said that her hometown is “different now than it was then because it was less congested than it is now…I rode my bike everywhere; I walked everywhere…It was fun…There was everything that you wanted to have: good schools, lots of friends.” For twenty years, she lived in Massapequa, another town on the South Shore. She found the environments very similar, and she enjoyed life on the South Shore.
She attended college at Cornell University. “I wanted to be a doctor when I went off to Cornell,” she says. “I was majoring in biology, and I did not like biology. Biology didn’t like me. I felt like it was a lot of work for something that I wasn’t getting good at.” However, she was taking economics as an elective class and realized that she liked the course more than she liked her original major. “I did one year as a bio major and then I made this drastic decision that I was going to change to business management and marketing…It was an instant click and I did really, really well with it, and so I never went back to the sciences.” She got her bachelor of science in this new field that she chose to study. After that, she got her Master of Philosophy, followed by her Certified Public Accountant license. She then attended Columbia University to get her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). To her, one of her greatest achievements is getting her PhD. “The process of getting the PhD is so unbelievably time consuming,” she explains. “It’s so easy to see why people say, ‘I’m done! I’m out of here.’” However, she finds that raising a family of three children is her overall greatest achievement.
After that, she decided to go into teaching. After working as a teaching assistant for several teachers, she realized that it was an interesting way to utilize her background in the business field. “Now I have the best of both worlds,” Venuti says. “I love my hours as an accounting professor. I love the control that I have over what I do, where I do it, when I do it.” However, if she wasn’t a professor, she could see herself working for a nonprofit organization.
She now resides on the North Shore in a town called Mill Neck. Venuti loves the area, saying that the surroundings are beautiful and it’s a wonderful place to live in, but she calls herself a “fish out of water,” considering that she had never experienced life in an area as affluent as Mill Neck until she and her family moved there not too long ago. She says: “I’m on the North Shore now, but I’m used to the South Shore…[Mill Neck] is very beautiful, but it’s very different. I like where I’m living now, but I also liked where I was.”
In her spare time, she loves to read, and she wishes that she had more time to devote to photography and travel. In fact, something she’s always wanted to do is be a travel photographer.
In college, she backpacked in Europe, which she considers to be an “ordinary [thing] that college kids do.” Also, because her husband used to be the Chief Financial Officer for Vitamin Water, she has had the chance to meet various celebrities, including 50 Cent, Kelly Clarkson, and David Wright.
“It’s been a very interesting ride,” says Venuti as she reflects back on her life so far. “I’ve gotten to meet very interesting people from all walks of life.”