Student Spotlight: On the Run with Cara Bennet
Category : Student Spotlight
Vassar student Cara Bennet brings a love of running to her study away in Hawai‘i.
Home School: Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY
Home Town: Bethesda, Maryland
Major: History, with a minor in Native American Studies
Favorite UHM Class: Hawaiian Studies. I’m learning new things in this class, things I’ve haven’t heard before, and yet there are also similarities to my Native American studies.
Favorite Form of Social Media: Probably the phone. I’ve had one since 4th grade. My parents are telecommunications lawyers, so it’s in our blood! After 9-11, my mom wanted me to have a phone at school to stay in communication in case something happened.
What’s on your iPod? Mostly Jack Johnson. I’ve always been a fan since high school. My family has a connection to Hawai‘i since my mom travels here a lot on business, and Jack Johnson’s music also keeps me connected. I’m going to one of his concerts in Columbia, MD in June. This past fall as I was warming up for a cross country race in Saratoga Springs, he was doing a sound check for a concert later that day. I had one of the best races of the year after that!
What one word would you use to describe yourself? Tenacious.
What one word would your friends use to describe you? Responsible. My nickname as captain of my cross country team was “Responsible Cara”.
Describe one of your top accomplishments: My senior year in high school I was voted captain of the cross country team, and even though it was predicted throughout the year that another team would come out on top, we won the county, regional, and state championships.
Fun Fact: Hmmm… well… I ran my first half marathon by accident. My parents were running a half marathon in Virginia Beach, and I needed to do a 7-mile long run for training, so I was just going to run along with my dad for ½ of the race. But we got to the 7-mile mark, and I just kept going! It felt great! Another fun fact is that I eat A LOT of peanut butter. My roommate has to limit me. Peanut butter at only one meal!
Craziest Ambition: To run an ultra marathon one day.
Greatest Vice: (1 minute later) I’m pretty indecisive. I guess that’s why I’m having a hard time answering this question. Here’s one example: on our cross country team runs it takes about 20 minutes to decide on a route. We have a place called the “Corner of Indecision” at the beginning of our runs.
Dream Job: Possibly working with Disney. My friends and I are a huge Disney fans. Instead of going to beach weekend after senior year, like the rest of the class, we went to Disney World. It was loads of fun!
What’s next? I’ll finish up senior year and my last season on the cross country team. I’ll also figure out my senior thesis for history, which will possibly involve Native American or Hawaiian studies.
Favorite Book: The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Favorite Movie: The Lion King. I’ve seen the Broadway show in NYC and London.
Favorite TV Show: Veronica Mars. Even though the show is no longer airing, a movie is coming out, funded by Kickstarter, which was instigated by the fans of the show.
The Reality Show I’d Go On: Maybe The Amazing Race
Person I’d most like to meet: Jack Johnson or Apollo Ohno.
Favorite athlete: Marathoners Kara Goucher or Joan Benoit Samuelson
If I’m cooking we’re having: Lots of vegetables. I can’t imagine a meal without them.
Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Running and hiking. Incidentally I’m running the Hapalua Half Marathon in Waikiki this April.
Favorite Local Food: Fresh fruit. And poke — I love seafood.
Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: The general friendliness of people. Here in Hawai‘i people strike up conversations so easily, unlike in the DC area.
Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The North Shore or Waimea Canyon on Kauai.