Alumni Spotlight: Kristine, Ed.D, “I Wanted to Become a Better Leader”

Kristine Blood, EdD

Kristine Blood graduated from Aspen’s Master of Arts in Psychology and Addiction Studies in January 2019 and then went on to complete her Doctor of Education in Leadership and Learning, specializing in Organizational Leadership in November 2022. Kristine was able to leverage her degrees to benefit her career moves.  Keep reading to hear more about Kristine’s journey.


I recently graduated in November 2022 with my EdD in Leadership and Learning. I started the doctoral program while on maternity leave with my second child. During my journey, I married my high school sweetheart and father of my 2 kids and was promoted to Manager of a remote pharmacy. Working full-time hours, raising a family, and earning my doctorate was not an easy task, but I wanted to become a better leader and help other leaders in their career pathways. Since graduating, I have accepted a new position as a Business Analyst and hope to learn more about the retail setting.  My goal is to use my degree to help the organization build empathetic and industrious leaders. I have also taken on the opportunity to be an adjunct professor at the local community college in my area. I look forward to the diverse group of students that I hope to inspire in their future careers.  I am passionate about the ability to sculpt leaders and students into their best selves. I enjoy the growth that can be visibly seen when someone tries to develop themselves.

Earning my doctorate has been a lifelong dream. The dream has had to shift with my different obstacles in life, but has ended in a way, that I could not be prouder of myself. I hope that with my driven perseverance and a strong reason for why I do what I do, my children will learn from watching me and be inspired to follow their own paths. I am a first-generation college student, a daughter, a mother, a wife, a sister, a leader, and a friend. I have had to make sacrifices to get to where I am, but I have also had a lot of support. I am grateful for the nights that my husband stayed up in solidarity so that I could make edits to my dissertation. The nights he would cook dinner and put the kids in bed, so I could practice my presentation for my dissertation. He was so incredibly supportive on the days I just wanted to give up. I am thankful every day for someone who believes in me full-heartedly.

There were obstacles along the way.  I had an interest in occupational therapy but found that it wasn’t fast paced enough for me. I had begun my job as a part-time pharmacy technician and thought it would be a great choice to move from my undergrad to pharmacy school. I didn’t have enough funding to finish my prerequisites, so I transitioned to getting my Psychology degree. I was undergoing postpartum and wanted to provide a service back to the community. At the same time, I had started my position as a leader in pharmacy. The passion I felt for helping people become successful at their jobs, the ability to give back to the community, and the ability to continue to mold myself and others into successful leaders through leadership and learning was a clear choice to me. I pursued my doctorate to learn more about leadership, to gain skills to teach others about leadership, and to find a career that allows me the ability to help others. Aspen University, my teachers, and my degree have helped me find new pathways in my journey and I am grateful to have my experiences guiding my family and me toward a better life.


Kristine’s journey through her Master’s and Doctoral programs is both relatable and inspirational.  She was able to complete two advanced degrees while changing jobs and taking care of her family.  Her support system held her up along the way.  Your support system is important to your overall academic success!  Make sure to reach out to your supporters and show your gratitude when you can.

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