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August 12, 2011 - USA Alum, Former Faculty Member Chosen as President of Liberal Arts College
Dr. Joseph N. Benoit, an alum and former faculty member at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine, was recently chosen as the new president of Mount Marty College, a liberal arts college in Yankton, S.D.

Prior to being named president of Mount Marty College, Dr. Benoit served as professor of pharmacology and dean of the graduate school at the University of North Dakota, where he presided over significant growth in the university’s graduate programs.

Dr. Benoit also served as director of graduate studies at the USA College of Medicine from 2000 to 2001 and associate professor and professor of physiology at the USA College of Medicine from 1995 to 2001.

Dr. Benoit said his background in health sciences, as well as his commitment to higher education, has led him to his current work at Mount Marty College, which is sponsored by the Benedictine Community of the Sacred Heart Monastery who also sponsors Avera Health System.

“Working with Avera Health is something that fit in with my background in health sciences,” Dr. Benoit said. “We have the opportunity to expand and look to the future, coupling liberal arts traditions into the education of health care professionals.”

Benoit completed his Ph.D. and undergraduate degree in basic medical sciences at USA, and a B.S. degree in biology/chemistry at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

“The tools I acquired while being trained as a scientist have helped me in other areas,” he said. “I stay in touch with the discipline and use those tools to help me accomplish my current duties. It’s a data-driven approach to administration.”

Dr. Benoit said choosing the USA College of Medicine’s multidisciplinary graduate program was one of the wisest decisions he’s made. “Students should embrace the multidisciplinary approach instead of focusing on one thing,” he said. “The ability to adapt is important, and being broadly educated really opened doors for me.”

“I had the opportunity to work with a great group of faculty when I was a student at USA,” Dr. Benoit added. “It was great to have those role models, and working with them has really helped me throughout the years. They taught me the importance of being involved at a national level with organizations that are in line with the mission of the institution you are serving.”

Dr. Benoit said the thing he is most proud of is having the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of individuals that are seeking to continue their education. “That has been and always will be my goal.”

In 2006, Dr. Benoit received the Distinguished Alumni and Service Award from USA, which recognizes outstanding achievement and leadership in his chosen field of interest.

Mount Marty College is a Catholic Benedictine center of higher education founded in 1936 in Yankton, S.D., by the Benedictine Sisters of Sacred Heart Monastery, who continue to sponsor the institution today. In addition to its Yankton campus, the college includes a campus in Watertown, S.D. and a Sioux Falls campus housing the college’s Nurse Anesthesia program.

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