By J. Fred Sidhu
Indian Wells, Calif. – As an environmental scientist, Kathy Kissick of Kansas City, Mo. helps keep the world clean.
In the early 1970’s, Kissick was one of the first people to graduate from the environmental science program at the University of Kansas.
She currently works for an international consulting engineering company that serves clients and industries in solving pollution problems.
While her position faces many challenges in today’s modern world, it also has its rewards.
"There are many types of issues to deal with on pollution problems (such as) ground water, air, soil and then getting a balance between business interest and the risk caused by the industries," Kissick said.
"It’s always a challenge to get everybody together and agreements reached," she added. "The biggest reward is when you actually reach those agreements and get those sites cleaned up. You feel pretty darn good about that."
Kissick, who began playing tennis on public courts when she was a teenager, has become a fan of the professional tennis game. In fact, she has attended the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on two previous occasions.
The BNP Paribas Open is the most-attended tennis tournament in the world outside of the Grand Slams. Held every March, it is one of the few major events combining both the top men and women over a two-week period on the ATP World Tour and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
"I can’t imagine a more beautiful venue. It’s very well organized. There are no bad views," she said "Being able to go to all of the non-stadium courts and just rotate between each one and to see the best players in the world, singles and doubles. I can’t imagine there’s a better tournament."
This weekend, Kissick is in Indian Wells representing the USTA Missouri Valley Section at the 2010 USTA League 3.5 Senior National Championships.
When asked how she felt playing on the same courts at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden that the pros use during the BNP Paribas Open, she said, "It’s an experience of a lifetime. It couldn’t be better. It’s a dream come true."