Kristi Ivezag, CSU Online/College of Natural Sciences

Kristi Ivezag with husband and two sons
Kristi Ivezag and family

By the time Kristi Ivezag graduates with her bachelor’s degree in psychology, her newborn baby will be just 10 weeks old. Ivezag delivered Gwenyth at 3 pounds and 14 ounces via an emergency C-section during her last semester in CSU’s online program. It was the only time she ever asked her professors for an extension on her assignments.

Perhaps that’s because Ivezag has plenty of experience navigating the challenges that come her way. Her first-born son, Vaus, was diagnosed with autism at age 5. It took years before the family was able to find out why he had a hard time with loud noises and wouldn’t engage with other kids. “He was kind of labeled a bad kid in school,” Ivezag says.

Eventually, a clinical social worker recognized that it might be autism. That was the first step toward getting the right diagnosis and therapy for Vaus. This interaction made Ivezag realize what she wanted to do with her own career. “There need to be more therapists with an understanding of autism,” Ivezag says, “because it took me so long to find one.”

Flexibility important

She initially earned credits at a community college in Pueblo, Colorado, before transferring to CSU Online.

“I really wanted to grasp a good foundation for how to read and conduct research,” Ivezag says. “That’s really why I liked CSU so much, because I feel like I’m very well prepared to do that moving forward.”

As a military spouse, Ivezag needed the flexibility of an online program that could follow her wherever her family needed to move. It also allowed her to get her school work done after she put her kids to bed.

Sometimes they ask her, “Mom do you have homework tonight?”

“It’s great to have them see me working hard,” Ivezag says. “It makes them want to work hard too.”

Ivezag plans on pursuing her master’s in social work as the next step toward becoming the kind of social worker that made all the difference for Vaus.

When asked what she planned on doing to celebrate her graduation, Ivezag said, “I haven’t even thought about it. Maybe have a glass of wine and go to dinner. That sounds really good right now.”