Senior Profile: Gunnar Ward

(Photo courtesy of Gunnar Ward).

What is your major and minor? What other academic programs were you a part of?

Environmental Studies Major. Journalism & Political Science Minors.

What are some of the jobs you held while at McDaniel?

Agrofood Systems Student Coordinator, Environmental Health Intern, Resident Assistant, Student Ambassador, Lifeguard, Theatre Technician

What organizations were you a part of at McDaniel? What positions did you hold?

Alpha Phi Omega: Vice President, Treasurer, Alumni Relations Chair, Secretary; Green Life: General Member Jewish Student Union; General Member McDaniel Rocket League Club; General Member McDaniel Free Press: Former Sports Editor

Have you enjoyed your time at McDaniel? If so, what did you enjoy the most?

Absolutely. I am tremendously grateful for my time at McDaniel. While on the Hill, I most enjoyed cultivating lifelong friendships and relationships with my peers in Environmental Studies, in the clubs and organizations I have been apart of and throughout the McDaniel Community. The ties I have made here truly can never be broken. I also have enjoyed my time off the hill exploring parks with my friends to hike, swim and embrace the outdoors.

Who do you think was/is your best mentor?

Atticus Rice, class of 2019.

Describe your favorite memory at McDaniel.

My favorite memory at McDaniel comes from the various garden plantings/cleanups I was able to help lead and participate in. The teamwork that goes into working with others to grow food that nourishes our bodies creates such a strong sense of community and unity in pursuing a common goal that takes dedication and passion. That and celebrating the occasions of college by hosting UFC fight nights and practicing question mark kicks in various backyards and kitchens.

What are some of the challenges you encountered and how did you overcome them?

The most significant challenge I encountered at McDaniel was when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the college last March. I went from having no time to having too much time in a flash. I fell into the same routine and truthfully if it wasn’t for playing video games with friends I am not sure what I would have done with myself. A simple activity led to meeting my best friends. Without them, life would be a major BIMA moment.

What are your plans for after graduation?

After graduation, I will be staying in Westminster and have accepted a position as an Environmental Chemist with AEG Environmental. Eventually, I would like to pursue my masters in Environmental Health and work as an Environmental Health and Safety Director.

What would you tell yourself as a first-year student at McDaniel?

Believe in yourself. Life always works out. Let your passion serve as your compass and have faith that people are good.

Where do you see the world in 10 years?

On the campaign trail to be President of the United States or hosting Jeopardy!

How do you reflect on your senior year during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Shew buddy. COVID-19 shook up the world didn’t it? As for my senior experience during COVID-19… it was rough at times. When the college closed, I was optimistic that I would be back on the Hill in no time. Little did I know I would fall into the same routine of boredom of going to class, but not learning anything and playing video games in the evenings. When I say I didn’t actually learn anything from March of 2020 until about the start of the spring semester this year I mean it. It took time to adjust, but life always works out. Through the pandemic, I learned what direction I wanted life to take and met some of my best friends.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with the McDaniel community?

Thanks for the cheese. Catch ya later, McDaniel.