Get to Know Your Professors: This Issue: Q & A with Emily Ward (Assistant Professor of Geology)

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By: Kasha Caprata –

by Brandon Keim

by Brandon Keim

Name: Emily Geraghty Ward

Originated From: I was born in Albany, N.Y. My parents moved out west when I was 3 years old.

Undergraduate/Masters/PhD Programs: Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash., Bachelor of Arts, Geology Washington State University, Pullman, Wash., Master of Science, Geology University of Montana, Missoula, Mont., Doctor of Philosophy, Geology

Inspiration for Becoming a Professor: I had the opportunity to teach geology lab sections while completing my graduate work and I loved it. I enjoyed (and still do!) interacting with the students and sharing my love of geology with others. You never look at the landscape the same way after taking a geology class!

The Definition of Education: To me, education opens your mind to new things. It’s an opportunity to try to figure
out how the world works. I completely agree with the saying, “The more you know, the more you don’t know!”

Draw to Rocky Mountain College: When I saw the job opening at Rocky, I saw it as a chance for my family to return to Montana. Having grown up here, I was aware of Rocky’s reputation as a great liberal arts institution. It provided an opportunity for me to teach in a small setting with a focus on undergraduate education. It has always been a career goal of mine to be a faculty member at a small school that values teaching.

The Best and Worst Things About Being a Professor: There are a lot of great things about being a professor! You get to interact with students every day and share knowledge with one another. I love it when students in my class and I are able to reason through a geology problem together. I enjoy teamwork. Worst thing…hmm…sometimes I feel like I spend too much time at my computer. It’s definitely part of the job, but something that I could do to help remedy that – more field trips!

Advice for New Students: I would tell a freshman to take advantage of all the opportunities that they can, both academic and non-academic. Get to know your professors and visit their office hours to get help. Make an effort to try new things – it’s good to get out of your comfort zone!

This Year’s Agenda: I have a couple of new classes I’m teaching that I’m excited about. This spring I have a Geology of Yellowstone National Park class that will take us on a field trip to the park!

Hopes: I’d like to be able to help students find something they love to do and support them in doing it.

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