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A problem-solver and a jack-of-all-trades

Smiling woman with shoulder-length brown hair and bangs, wearing a purple blouse and dark-rimmed glasses. On white banner with-Benita Stewart, Web Specialist III, Department of Internal Medicine, with blue Employee Recognition Program logo.

Benita Stewart is officially a Web Specialist but prefers to describe herself as a jack-of-all-trades.

“I don’t consider myself an expert at anything other than coming up with a solution, temporary or permanent, that will keep the process moving forward,” says Mrs. Stewart, who mainly goes by the nickname Beni, otherwise “no one will know who I am.”

She’s being modest about her abilities, of course. Sharp photography skills led her to a job at UT Southwestern’s Department of Pathology in 1989. She majored in photography at Austin College.

“Pathology is an image-intensive field,” Mrs. Stewart says. “Anything they take out of you they take a photograph of. Then they slice it up and take more images for histology.”

She says Pathology had one of the first websites at UT Southwestern and that was how she slid into her current position doing web work for the Department of Internal Medicine.

Outside of work, Mrs. Stewart leads an active life. When she’s vacationing, you’ll most likely find her off-roading with her family in some exciting location.

“My husband and I spend a lot of time enjoying the outdoors. My husband and son ride dirt bikes and I ride along on my side-by-side,” she says. A side-by-side is an off-road vehicle similar to a motorcycle but with seats side by side and four wheels.

“We’ve traveled to Moab, Utah, a few times to ride trails there, spent time in Colorado in the Silverton/Ouray area camping and riding, and we visit northwest Arkansas often for some beautiful riding scenery,” Mrs. Stewart says.

In her 35 years of working at UT Southwestern, the most unusual experience that Mrs. Stewart recalled did not exactly happen to her, though it involved her. Her sister, Jeni Gerberich, worked as a Research Assistant in the Department of Radiology when Mrs. Stewart worked in Pathology. Though the sisters are five years apart in age, they look so much alike that some people think they are twins. And then there’s the rhyming names, Beni and Jeni.

One day, a pathologist crossed paths with Jeni and asked her about a project that Beni was working on. “I’m not Beni,” said Jeni.

Confused, the physician asked, “What do you mean you’re not Beni?”

Finally, the penny dropped and he realized he was talking to Beni’s sister. The mistaken identity story was humorously batted around the Pathology Department after that.

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