Gabby Ward is a Department of Agriculture student studying pre-veterinary medicine. Ward is from Corpus Christi, Texas, and followed in the footsteps of her parents, who met at Illinois State and got married after they graduated. Ward graduated with Departmental Honors this December. 

During her time at Illinois State, Ward was involved in community service through her leadership roles as community co-chair for the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) and treasurer for Tau Sigma.

“I also did a lot of volunteer work in the community,” Ward said. “I volunteered at Pet Central Helps, which is an animal shelter. I am also a dental assistant at the community health clinic and we provide dental treatment to people without insurance, so I give back to the community in that way, as well”. 

Gabby Ward

Ward shared the impact that the faculty and staff in the Department of Agriculture had on her experience.

“I love the advisor and the professors. They’re always there for you. We all know ISU is a big school, but it really feels like the professors care for you. They are open and it’s really easy to talk to them.”

After graduation, Ward’s goal is to be a dentist because she wants to work with people who need access to important dental care.

“It’s really rewarding to give back, so I’d like to work in like a clinic or in government,” Ward said.

Her parents will also come to ISU to celebrate their daughter’s graduation and to reminisce about the moments when they met and fell in love at ISU.

Ward has simple advice for her fellow Redbirds.

“I would say try to get involved as much as possible but then pick one or two things that you really like and focus on those. I was in a lot more clubs sophomore year but then I chose my favorites and I got to be on the leadership boards. You learn a lot of skills if you’re on the leadership boards and you make a lot of friends.” 

This story is one of a series of profiles on Redbirds who are graduating this December. For more information about how Illinois State is celebrating commencement this semester, visit the Graduation Services website.