Cathy Zagar

I forced myself to set a goal, find a way to get there, and execute.


A single mom, Cathy Zagar works as a full-time Purchasing and Subcontracting Administrator at a company that provides offshore survey services. A self-described “soccer and competitive dance mom,” she also counts bunco, hiking, and scrapbooking as regular activities. And now, amongst her achievements, she can finally include having earned her Bachelor’s degree. 

Cathy had started college right out of high school, but dropped out after being hired as a clothing buyer. She worked in the apparel field for the next 20 years before landing her current job, but the desire to finish her degree never left her. After mentioning this fact to her sister’s friend, who happened to be a Student Advisor at Ashford, Cathy began to look into enrolling. “I found that the online program fit my schedule. Ashford offers a great selection of classes.” 

Admittedly, fitting school into her already full schedule was a challenge at first. “I learned the art of time management in a big way!” She also confesses that she had always been more focused on the social rather than the academic aspect of school, and that effective goal-setting was never a strength of hers. “But by going to Ashford, I have forced myself to set a goal, find a way to get there, and execute.” 

And she did so with flying colors. At age 43, Cathy graduated with honors in October 2011 and was inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society. “I never thought that I could achieve honors!” she exclaims proudly. Cathy’s mother, sister, and daughter accompanied her to Clinton, IA for the commencement ceremony. “It felt great. I’ll never forget them calling my name. You can even tell by the picture, as I was grinning from ear to ear. Then I heard my family cheering from the crowd, and I knew that they were proud of me and of what I have accomplished.” 

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