Sun Devil Spotlight: Katrina Hempelman

September 13, 2022 · 2 min read · By ASU Online
Meet Katrina Hempelman, businesswoman, mother and ASU Online alumna.

Katrina Hempelman knew that between running her business from home and taking care of her family, she had little time to attend school in person. As a non-traditional student, Hempelman had doubts about returning to school. However, she was determined to get her degree and, after discovering ASU Online, she was thrilled to have the freedom she needed to do it all. She remembered receiving a water bottle in the mail with her college insignia and, in that moment, she made up her mind: She was going to be the first person in her family to obtain a college degree.

“I credit ASU Online with developing that charisma and inspirational quality where I really feel like I can be my authentic self. I’m able to share the things that have shaped me as a professional and encourage other people to see what's possible,” said Hempelman.

While in school, Hempelman viewed her studies as an outlet to focus on herself, which she hadn’t done before. Early mornings filled with coffee and study time were accompanied by late nights, retaining as much information as she could while everyone else went to bed. On days when she had other obligations, she chose to listen to her textbooks in audio-book format.

“I owed it to myself to become the best version of me as an individual and in my career,” explained Hempelman.

While Hempelman recognized that obtaining her organizational leadership degree was a huge accomplishment for herself, her hard work and achievements did not go unnoticed by those around her. Her children have not only expressed pride in their mother, but her 14-year-old daughter now says she wants to continue her higher education in the future.

Aside from her rigorous study habits and drive, Hempelman accredits her success to the meaningful connections she created with faculty and peers at ASU Online. She said that one professor who was exceedingly helpful in her education was Dr. Paula Veach. In addition to consistently reaching out, taking time to meet with her and advocating for her, Dr. Veach connected her to the MS OGL Student Organization.

“She invited me to be a part of the group and through that I made some quality connections with other students,” Hempelman said. “We held events that connected people. Some events allowed students to join virtually, which further encouraged connections across the world.”

Hempelman explains that facing obstacles like raising her family and graduating during a pandemic made her graduation experience unique. However, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in organizational leadership, Hempelman decided she wasn’t done learning. In just 12 months, Hempelman completed a Master of Science in organizational leadership with a 4.00 GPA, making her the first person in her family to earn a graduate degree. 

She encourages other students considering returning to school to not second guess themselves. “I would encourage anyone considering attending ASU Online to know you are capable of anything,” Hempelman said. “You get out what you put into it and, if you’re willing to commit and put in the effort, the work will pay you back for the rest of your life in ways you’d never expect.”

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