Katrina Burchfield

Katrina Burchfield

Katrina Burchfield

Katrina Burchfield’s graduation from MSU was a monumental milestone: not only did she earn a college degree; she did so as a single mother.

Burchfield earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish in 2007. Now, Burchfield lives in Columbus, Mississippi, and is pursing a career as a teacher. She is currently a tutor and has received her license to teach Spanish and social studies.

“I have been tutoring ESL students for the Lowndes County School District for the past three years, and have been taking graduate classes at MSU. I hope to be teaching full-time by next year,” said Burchfield.

Burchfield was a single mother during her five years as an undergraduate at MSU. “Life was super hard, but MSU made it easier by providing Aiken Village family housing and the Aiken Village preschool. I pushed my baby in a stroller up and down main street looking for jobs, and that determination was supported and fostered by my professors in the classroom environment as well,” said Burchfield.

While being a single mother and completing an undergraduate degree was often difficult, Burchfield credits some of her favorite memories of her time at MSU to memories of the kindness and accommodation of her teachers.

“I had a final exam near the holidays and could not afford a babysitter. My professor allowed me to take my exam in the hallway. I even had to change a diaper halfway through the exam! I am so grateful for the accommodation and understanding from the caring and wise staff and faculty at MSU,” said Burchfield.

While a single mother at MSU, Burchfield describes having the odds stacked against her. With no financial support, no family nearby, and nothing to fall back on, she relied on her community to help her.

“During the five years that I was a student and young, single mother at MSU, I received so much help. There are so many stories like this that I could tell you about the wonderful professors at MSU and the people in the community in Starkville that helped in immeasurable ways to ensure that my son and I were taken care of while I studied and earned my degree.”

Burchfield’s advice to students is to embrace their community and to engage with professors and staff members at MSU because you will learn so much from them about life. “These informal lessons through conversation and daily interaction are just as valuable as the knowledge you will gain through formal study and instruction. Don't miss out on these lessons,” said Burchfield. “I am forever grateful for every kindness that has been shown to me and my family. Hail State!”







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