We’re excited to spotlight Kim this month! At the same time, we’re sorry to say that this will be the final MITS post from the originator of the column, former SHARE staff organizer Laurie Lynch, who has followed her vocation in animal science: she’s off to do research and serve as an Animal Lab Manager at Brown University. We’ll spotlight Laurie herself in a blog post soon.
In the meanwhile, if you have a suggestion for an upcoming “Member in the Spotlight,” please let us know! Want to recognize someone who’s retiring soon? Welcome a new member? Highlight someone who’s doing interesting things at UMass? Or impressive things outside the university? Do you yourself want to say “hi” to all of SHARE? We love featuring our own. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Member in the Spotlight: Kimberly Benoit
By Laurie Lynch, SHARE staff organizer
Aww, an animal lover after my own heart! Kim has 2 dogs that she loves and spoils. She has a Silky Terrier named Travis that she adopted a few years ago and she has a Teacup Cockapoo named Molly that she inherited when her mother could no longer care for her.
Kim was also incredibly lucky (in my opinion) to have grown up right down the street from Southwick’s Zoo in Mendon, MA. Her first job as a teenager was working at the zoo, and she continued working there for many more summers throughout the years. Kim shared many great stories with me about her time at the zoo, including one about a chimpanzee they had at the zoo many years ago that she really liked. She enjoys the zoo so much that she is planning on working there again part-time for the 2016 season!
Kim graduated from Blackstone/Millville High School and then went on to Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Travel Tourism Management. After college, she worked as a tour guide for many years and traveled much of the United States, Eastern Canada, France, and Ireland. She loves to travel and plans on continuing.
Kim also loves to sing. Kim has been singing with the Blackstone Valley Community Chorus for 12 years, since the chorus began. The group is now 60 members strong. Kim told me that, “The members have become like family.” She had also been singing as a Cantor for her church for 30 years, however she just recently decided to take a break from that.
Another one of Kim’s hobbies is woodworking. Kim enjoys making yard decorations out of wood; she stencils what she wants to create, cuts it out, and then paints the piece. When she is done with each new piece, she donates her art. She has donated to her church, The American Cancer Society, and local libraries, just to name a few.
Kim has been working here at UMass in the Department of Neurology as an Administrative Assistant for almost 2 ½ years now. She told me that she works with a great team that includes six Principal Investigators. She believes her boss, Karen Anderson, is an incredible women and mentor. Kim told me, “She is always supportive, easy to talk to and work with.”
25 Random fun facts about Kim Benoit
- Favorite color – Blue
- Favorite season – Summer
- Beach or woods – Woods
- Chocolate or vanilla – Chocolate
- Dream vacation – Australia
- Number of siblings – 4 (1 brother and 3 sisters)
- Favorite style of music – Classic rock (especially U2 and Eric Clapton)
- Favorite food – Pizza
- Do you have any pets – 2 dogs
- If you could only eat 1 meal for the rest of your life, what would it be – Vegetarian lasagna
- If you could go back in time, when would you go to and why – 1850’s because it was a time of new exploration and expeditions into the west. It was also a very romantic time in our history.
- If you got stranded on a deserted island with no power source, what 5 items would you bring – Book on survival, gun with ammunition, her dog, survival kit with utility knife
- Do you blow dry your hair? or just let it dry on its own, or towel dry – Blow dry
- Do you untie your shoes when you take them off – No
- Favorite book – Any craft books/magazines
- Last thing you bought – Dog treats (She spoils her dogs!)
- Favorite day of the week – Saturday
- T.V. show you secretly enjoy – NCIS & Castle, however, baseball trumps ALL. Kim is a huge Red Sox fan!
- Favorite Potato Chips flavor – Classic Ruffles
- Do you play a musical instrument – No
- What's your worst pet peeve – Being untidy or sloppy
- Do you have dream car – Anything with four wheels (She likes her car just fine.)
- Who named you and why – Parents. It was a popular name in the 60’s and her parents liked it.
- Do you speak any other languages – No
- Do you have a favorite life motto – “Do what you gotta do to survive.”