UM News Service
MISSOULA – With dedication to social change and a solid work ethic, University of Montana junior Daisy Ward is positioning herself to be a future leader. The honors student, double majoring in political science and Spanish, is one of eight college students in Montana and 262 nationwide named a 2019 Newman Civic Fellow.
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes community-committed students at Campus Compact member institutions who are changemakers and problem-solvers with the potential for public leadership. The yearlong fellowship provides students with training and resources to help them develop strategies for social change while engaging with a national network of student leaders.
“During her time at the University of Montana, Ms. Ward has distinguished herself as a civically engaged individual who is dedicated to promoting lasting social change, both on our campus and within the larger community,” UM President Seth Bodnar wrote in Ward’s nomination letter. “Her unwavering commitment to public service coupled with strong leadership qualities makes her an ideal candidate for this fellowship.”
Ward has a passion for public policy she discovered while attending high school in Pullman, Washington, and she said majoring in political science was an easy choice.
“I like to understand the intricacies of the way systems work, and when it comes to politics and government, that means policy,” she said. “I understand both the specific details and the larger way that things work in the world, and that combination is what makes policy so interesting to me.”
At UM she is one of just two undergraduate students involved in the graduate-level Big Sky Poll, which allows students to conduct public opinion polls in Montana and then analyze the results of the data.
When it comes to social change, Ward says she wants to see accessibility in government, specifically in education. As a Newman Civic Fellow, Ward will focus on local education policy decisions while also continuing her research work. After graduation, she hopes to work in educational programming and policy.
“Equity in public education is so important for social improvement,” she said.