Member Feature: It's Never Too Late

Alyssa Papa
May 19, 2022

As full-time parents and employees, going to graduate school wasn’t the easiest task for Catherine and Jeremiah “JJ” McDaniel, but in the end, the achievement was well worth it. The balance between work, school and parenting led to many late nights and early mornings to complete assignments.

“We were each other’s motivation, support and inspirations,” said Catherine McDaniel.

Catherine and JJ obtained their master’s degrees from the University of Maryland Global Campus, where they both held a 4.0 GPA and were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi. Catherine graduated in human resource management and JJ in acquisitions and supply chain management. “Phi Kappa Phi is highly revered, and it was a goal from day one to get that recognition. Once we started our master’s degree journey, it turned into a fun competition between the two of us to see who could obtain the better GPA,” said Catherine McDaniel.

When asked what advice she would give parents who are thinking of going back to graduate school, Catherine says not to be scared, ask for help and establish good relationships with your professors. “I want my boys to know that mom and dad worked really hard to achieve a great goal. That through a pandemic, work and the million other directions we were pulled into, we were able to push ourselves to overcome everything.”

The McDaniels are high school sweethearts, have been married for 10 years and currently reside in Herndon, Virginia, with their two sons, Jacob, 7, and Logan, 3.