Q & A with Shannon Kahl!

Posted February 13, 2020 By Shannon Kahl

What is your role at ILLUME?

As a Technical Consultant, I lead a variety of research and evaluation projects.

Where are you from and where do you live now?

I grew up just outside of Madison, Wisconsin, went to college at the University of Wisconsin, and have lived in Madison ever since. It’s a tough place to leave.

Who or what inspires you in your work?

Doing something I believe in that allows me to keep learning and working with people who feel the same way.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, we have a miniature dachshund named Suzie, aka Suzie the Super Hiker. What she lacks in size, she makes up for in volume. I wasn’t sure we could become small dog people after having two Dalmatians previously, but I have to admit it is awfully nice to have a dog that can curl up on your lap. Her ability to seek out warm and cozy spots never ceases to amaze me. And she hikes just as well as the bigger dogs did – impressing passersby on the hiking trails!

What are your favorite hobbies?

Anything that keeps me active and outdoors – I love biking (on and off-road), hiking, and camping in the summer. In the winter, I enjoy snowboarding, cross country skiing, and ice skating.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I guess I’d have to say working for the U.S. Postal Service for two summers during college. I reported to work at 5:30 AM, six days per week, and usually worked 10-hour days. But there were some positives – I did get to be active and outdoors sometimes!

What is the best concert you ever attended?

That is a tough question. I love live music, particularly at smaller, local venues, and have seen a lot of great shows over the years. But if I had to pick one favorite, I’d say Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison. The energy from the band and the crowd was amazing throughout the entire show. Close runners up – Langhorne Slim and the Law at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, Dave Matthews Band AND Big Head Todd and the Monsters at the Rave in Milwaukee (yes, it was 1995), and Shakey Graves playing Live on King Street in downtown Madison a couple years ago.

What is your superpower?

Sensing when a family member has left the lights on in a room they have left. Apparently my not so subtle reminders are not working. I’m going to have to work on implementing a behavior-change program at home.

If you could have chosen another career path, what would you be doing?

I’m pretty happy with how things have turned out, but if I had to start over, I’d look for something that would enable me to be more active and/or outdoors. Even though I have no photography skills whatsoever, I’ve often thought that being a landscape photographer is a good fantasy career choice – allowing for travel and hiking to beautiful locations.