Jazmine Benjamin in front of the US Capital building. Photo by Jazmine Benjamin
Jazmine Benjamin in front of the US Capital building. Photo by Jazmine Benjamin

Jazmine Benjamin (@J_I_Benjamin) is a third-year graduate student at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. She researches cell signaling in diabetes. She is heavily involved in advocacy and research and hopes to have a career as a science policy advisor or a politician.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Early bird

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?

I have a dog named Cersei. She’s a border collie mix and the gentlest dog I’ve ever met.

4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?

I have some science themed books on a shelf — I don’t know if that counts as home decor, though.

5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?

I’m conversational in Spanish and I know a few basic phrases in French.

8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Race car driver

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?

Marine biology

10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?


11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?

High-stress tolerance

12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Read: ‘The Four Agreements’ – Don Miguel Ruiz
Watch: Luke Cage
Listen: Pod Save America or The Read (NSFW)

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Sleep, eat, take my dog for a walk

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

I can’t think of three things, but I know that water is one thing

15 What beverage gives you life?

Water or the occasional sweet tea

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

‘Invisible Man’ – Ralph Ellison

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?

Everything. A vet, a teacher, an astronaut, a plastic surgeon, a fashion designer, a professional athlete…everything.

18 What drives you and keeps you going?

My family and those who died so that I could have the opportunities that I have today

19 What got you excited in science?

Knowing obscure things about how my body worked

20 What excites you about science now?

Being able to help the public by answering questions that other people never think of

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Binge watching

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

I learned how to fence in high school.

23 What is your favorite game?


24 What is the last book you read?

‘Never Eat Alone’ – Keith Ferrazzi

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

My dad once told me: “Never run in the rain because you’ll catch raindrops that weren’t meant for you”. I think that he meant it literally, but I think of it as “Go at your own pace”.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Skydiving — I’m terrified of heights

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Nothing that you think is going to happen by the time you turn 25 is actually going to happen by then. Enjoy life.

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Meditate, walk/run, sleep, cry, pet an animal

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Probably a prison documentary

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

A container of homemade BBQ sauce

31 What is your favorite animal?

Turtles and Tortoises

32 What is your favorite book?

‘Hamlet’ & ‘The Poisonwood Bible’ – Barbara Kingsolver

33 What is your favorite comfort food?


34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Thanksgiving , solely for the food and family

35 What is your favorite plant?

It’s a tie between rosemary and aloe.

36 What is your favorite science fact?

The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?


39 What is your favorite sound?

Waves crashing on the beach

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

I can teach myself anything fairly quickly.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

I can’t pick just one.

42 What is your proudest moment?

The day I got my dog.

43 What kind of tree would you be?


44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

Waffle House

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

I taught myself to play the guitar and the piano.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?