The Couple Who Studies Together…

Kristine Morel
AA in General Studies, 2009
BS in Healthcare Administration, 2013
MBA/Project Management, (expected graduation 2017)

Ernest Morel
AAS in Criminal Justice, 2012
BSBA/International Management, 2014
MBA/Project Management, (expected graduation 2017)

Kristine and Ernest Morel met while serving in the military. Kristine grew up in a third world country where not everyone had the opportunity of education. Her parents embedded in her the importance of education and service, so it only seemed natural that she joined the military.

Ernest grew up in a poor community in Brooklyn, New York, where he witnessed drugs and crime around every corner. He knew that a good education would be his ticket out of that environment, so he joined the military to gain the life skills and career to go along with that education.

Kristen Morel began her online education in 2008. When her frustration about the inflexibility of her previous school grew, she overheard a coworker talking about CSU. She found that not only would her previous credit transfer, but her military experience would, as well.

“It turned out that CSU works perfect for a busy person like me and transferring to CSU was the best decision I made in my education.”

Kristine finished her associates degree in 2009 and soon after, her husband Ernest decided to begin his studies at CSU.

“I was motivated to pursue my college degree by my wife, and she recommended CSU as the best school for our busy work schedule in the military and professional careers. Continuing our education has been the best decision, and CSU has made that possible with what they offer,” said Ernest.

They both completed their associates and moved on to their bachelors, Kristine’s in healthcare administration and Ernest’s in business administration. They didn’t stop there, either. They both began their master’s degree program and will graduate this year.

Kristine and Ernest say that because of their busy schedules, they usually work on their studies independently when they can fit some time in between work and family commitments; however, they always take time to remind each other about the importance of finishing strong. They provide each other a fresh set of eyes to review papers or compare notes from similar courses.

“We are both competitive and challenge each other to see who gets higher grades throughout the course. We joke about who is better, but at the end of the day we find it exciting, fun and fulfilling to be able to go through this together and reach our educational goals.”

The couple says their goal is to finish their MBA programs and be the first in their families to receive a master’s degree. Once that is complete, they do not plan on resting.

“We would like to pursue our certifications (PMP, PMI, and Six Sigma black belt certifications) following our MBA. Having these certifications will help us in our careers by giving us a better advantage to get promoted to a higher position in our company. Our future goal is to get our doctoral degree together, which would not only be a significant lifetime achievement but would serve as a great example for our kids,” says Kristen.

Kristen and Ernest say having an Alma Mater in common with one another has been a wonderful thing to bring them even closer together.
“It is a great feeling knowing that we are representing a large community of other CSU alumni who have made this journey. We are here to enlighten others who are just starting in their journey and let them know that reaching your goals is possible if you don’t give up.”

Today, Kirstine and Ernest have triplets and life is anything but dull. Kristine and Ernest both work for Afton Chemical Corporation in Richmond, Virginia. Kristine is a chemical laboratory technician and conducts various tests and evaluates the lubricity and electronic conductivity of fuels. Ernest is a test coordinator where he manages the needs of internal and external customers in various programs and projects.

While serving, going to school, and working together, you would think the couple may wish for some time apart, but it is quite the opposite. They call each other their rock and turn to each other for support and motivation every day.

“He makes sure that I always remember my goals in life to finish school and become a role model to everyone, especially to our triplets,” says Kristine.

“Completing my MBA will be a highlight for my immediate family as this is the highest level of education achieved. I will bring pride to our family. My wife has been an incredible blessing and a balance to my life. She is able to anchor me down and keep my focus on my goals,” says Ernest.

Author: lucinda.taylor

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