Student Union Building
PO Box 444264
Moscow, ID 83844-4264
1031 N. Academic Way,
Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
Written by Sue McMurray
If Katie Ward were a psychiatric patient, immersion therapy would be her rehab of choice. As a University of Idaho natural resources student and a member of the Sigma Alpha sorority, this fearless freshman is pursuing a quadruple major, along with two minors. She also works a 2 to 7 a.m. graveyard shift two or three times a week.
Not busy enough? Then factor in an addiction to snowboarding that recently led to her score second place in a national snowboard slope style and boardercross competition held March 3-7 in Winter Park, Colo.
In her "spare" time, she enjoys helping with her family's ranch and previously volunteered for her local fire station.
"I want to learn how to rappel out of helicopters next," said Ward. "I am in love with fighting fire."
A first-generation college student, Ward attended a private school, was homeschooled and took three years of online high school courses to prepare for her undergraduate experience at the University of Idaho. She plans to major in fire ecology and management, international studies, forest resources and Spanish. She will earn minors in communications and public relations.
Ward explains while some might view her as an overachiever, there is a process to her strenuous academic schedule.
"My fire ecology and management degree will prepare me to work with trees and renewable natural resources," she said. "Learning Spanish and having international experience will help me gain a sense of culture, and a communications/public relations background will refine my networking skills."
Ultimately, Ward hopes to tie her passion for fire research with her love of Spanish. She plans to study abroad in Argentina during her junior year, immersing herself in the Spanish culture and exploring Patagonia. Her dream is to work abroad teaching third world countries how to use fire instead of fear it.
"I know the helpful faculty at the University of Idaho will help me make it happen," Ward said. "They care as much as your own family does. That's something I'd never experienced before."