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Kimberly Katzenbarger

Attorney for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of General Counsel, Natural Resources Section.

Because the University is located on the Gulf Coast, it provided so many environmental learning opportunities in the areas I was most passionate about. You can’t get that anywhere else.

You earned both your bachelor’s degree in history and your Master of Public Administration/Coastal Zone Management at UWF. How did you decide on this path?

I actually switched my major to history, an interest I didn’t realize I had before attending the classes, because the professors made the subject so fun and engaging. I still enjoy reading about, and learning from, history. I choose the MPA in Coastal Zone Management because I am passionate about environmental conservation and I thought that the program would provide a solid background for work in that area. I had direct access to my professors who allowed me to focus my work and formulate my research around the issues that sparked my attention.

You are quite the UWF ambassador. How have you shared your love for UWF?

I truly loved my UWF experience so much that I convinced my sister, Kelly Katzenbarger (M. Physical Education, Sports, and Leisure ’94), to move to Florida and pursue a master’s degree at the University. She ended up staying in Pensacola for 10 years, teaching at Wedgewood Middle School. We are now both graduates, and I believe that speaks volumes to the impact UWF can really have.

What about your UWF experience stands out to you?

UWF prepared me to be a better leader by offering opportunities to take initiative in my studies. Because of the small class sizes and the intimate educational environment, I was able to prepare for a future career in the field I wanted to be in, rather than doing abstract studies.