Mother’s Day Spotlight: ASU Celebrates Super Women

This Mother’s Day, Arizona State University is celebrating superstar moms working double time ― pursuing their educational goals online while prioritizing another personal passion: their families. For a full-time mom, going back to school can be trying, but these moms make it work.

Megan Eichelberger and Cherise Shockley are two extraordinary examples of full-time students using motherhood as motivation to reach their professional goals. Juggling the demands of parenthood, employment and college is difficult for anyone. These two ASU supermoms share their experiences of how they manage to do it all.

Megan Eichelberger taking a photo with her two children.Eichelberger’s choice to go back to school as a full-time student and working mother of three was simple ― she was motivated by her goal of being a role model to her children. “There’s something really special about being a role model for your kids ― and more importantly, demonstrating the importance of education. Going back to school really is a great way to model resilience!”

Mom to Beckett, Madigan and Thatcher, Eichelberger is actively pursuing her degree in interdisciplinary studies focused on business and data analytics. She navigates these priorities with a flexible plan.

“It all only works if you want it badly enough,” Eichelberger says. “First, it’s communication. Right now, I’m working, going to school and (trying to) homeschool full time. So, be honest about your limitations. I think it’s about having grace for myself and for my kids. Not everything is going to get done every day. We make a schedule and prioritize the must do’s ― the rest is flexible.”

Fellow rock star mom Cherise Shockley decided to go back to school to pursue better opportunities in her field for her daughter, Niya, and husband, Scott. After making a pact with her best friend to finish their college degrees before turning 40, Shockley was determined to reach the finish line.

“I decided it was time for me to focus on completing my degree,” she said. “Plus, I was tired of people telling me that I would do great in different roles, but since I did not have my degree, I would not be able to apply for them.”

Between working full time, navigating a diabetes diagnosis, Niya’s schedule and Scott actively serving in the Army, earning a degree was not an easy feat, but it posed a great opportunity for mother-daughter bonding.

“When she sees me struggling, she finds ways to help me stay on track,” Shockley said. “When she’s down about her own classwork and grades, I share stories of my personal struggles, as well as how I persevered. When I’m sitting at the computer beating myself up for not completing my degree sooner, I tell myself, “at least my daughter will know that anything is possible with sacrifice, hard work, faith and determination.”’

Propelled by words of encouragement from family, friends and the online diabetes community, Shockley accomplished her goal of graduation in May 2019 and continues to be a motivating light for other students juggling life and pursuing their goals.

ASU Online has made it possible for Eichelberger and Shockley, and many other moms, to go back to school while raising a family and pursuing their passions. These ASU superwomen are great examples of mothers and role models doubling as college students to show their kids that you can pursue your education at any age. To all the mothers and mother figures in our lives ― we thank you and wish you a happy Mother’s Day!

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