50 Notable Alumni

Cheryl Horvath

Fire Chief, Moutain Vista Fire, Tucson, Arizona

Associate in Applied Science

Fire Service Technology


Chief Cheryl Horvath has been in the fire service since 1992, working as a full-time firefighter in Illinois where she served as union president for four years and as a field instructor for the Illinois Fire Service Institute. Chief Horvath is the past President of the Board of Trustees for the International Association of Women in Fire & Emergency Services (www.i-women.org) and a frequent speaker at the conference in leadership and fireground tactics.

For the past seven summers, Chief Horvath worked with other local women firefighters and police officers to coordinate a public safety camp in Tucson for high school girls. The camp is designed to encourage girls and young women to consider non-traditional occupations. Camp Fury, initially funded through a grant from the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona, is sponsored by local fire and law enforcement agencies and the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona. Camp Fury is a national program available through local Girl Scout councils.

Chief Horvath serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona and as treasurer on the Board of Directors for the January 8th Memorial Foundation. Chief Horvath was the recipient of the 2010 YWCA Women on the Move Award, for her service to the greater Tucson community.

Chief Horvath also holds a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Anna Maria College and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Illinois.

Cheryl said "The one thing I remember most about Parkland College was the convenience of the overall experience. The Parkland College campus was easy to negotiate and the classes I needed to complete my degree work were accessible and convenient. The counsellors were great at helping me to plan coursework that was relevant to my career in fire and emergency services. I felt very supported by all the Parkland staff given that I am in a non-traditional career for women."