Star of the week

    Meridian native Sarah Beth Boutwell is a vivacious, vibrant college graduate whose love of animals has led to her a bachelor's degree in biology and a number of pets.

    Boutwell, whose 23rd birthday is Tuesday, graduated from Mississippi College this past May, so she decided to take a little time off and come home to Meridian.

    "I like animals," Boutwell says, adding her favorite animal is the dog.

 As assistant manager at Hollister Co., Boutwell helps supervise about 45 employees. When she's not at Bonita Lakes Mall, she's hanging out at home and with her friends.

    She has a brother, Beau, who attends Mississippi State University. Although she currently lives with parents, Bill and Lydia, she's in the process of moving now.

"It's time for me to grow up," she says with a laugh. "(My parents) are ready for me to leave but... they're not kicking me out."

Boutwell will move in with her friend Katie Anderson and also seven pets: three dogs, two cats and two fish. She didn't mention a favorite, but named dog Jackson specifically.

The reason Boutwell came back home was to save a little money before furthering her education.

     "Next fall I'm planning on going to grad school at Southern Miss and get my master's in biology research," she says. "I want to do research and travel."

Boutwell says she wants specifically to study aquatic insects, which, at first glance, seems like a random choice.

     "I had a really great teacher who got me interested in it," she explains. "That's his life's work."

     Thanks to professor Bill Stark, Boutwell is inspired to submerge herself in the world of underwater insects.

If you see this star of the week on Tuesday, don't forget to wish her a happy birthday. 

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