Degree: Master of Business Administration
College/School: College of Business
Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005 while living in her native New York City, Cristina Duverge went from working three jobs to barely being able to work at all. She lost her ability to walk in 2008 and moved to Florida in 2009 for its greater ease of mobility. Once in Florida, she saw education as the way forward, getting her associate degree and graduating from FIU with a double major in international relations and political science in 2015. Her next challenge: a master’s degree.
Nothing stops Cristina. She drives a specially-equipped vehicle that works with her motorized scooter, and that’s how she got to classes at FIU Downtown on Brickell. She also works as a part-time case analyst for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's office, where she is a fierce advocate for financial support for children caught in custodial battles. She credits her mom, who moved to Florida to accommodate her, and has always stood by her during tough times.
There have been days Christina’s illness has taken its toll. There were times when treatment for MS compromised her immune system, but she still came to class wearing gloves and a mask. Three years after getting her FIU bachelor’s degree, Cristina is graduating with her MBA.
Says Cristina: “With MS, you have no control. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring. My goals are to get things done. These are the cards I’ve been dealt – so I say let’s play, and let’s play to win.”
By Ellen Forman
Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, College of Business