As their families’ first generations to attain higher education, college sweethearts pursue doctorates together


Ignacio Hernandez and Susana Marin will marry in July and then travel to Iowa to continue their eduation.

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) graduates Ignacio Hernandez and Susana Marin represent the contemporary Southern California “college sweethearts” love story. They met on campus studying similar fields, fell in love along the way, and after graduation from CSULB last week, will travel to the University of Iowa to earn their doctorate degrees…as husband and wife.
The children of Mexican immigrants, the couple and their siblings are the first generations in their families to go to college. After graduating with master’s of science degrees from CSULB (with nearly 20 members of their families cheering them on), Hernandez and Marin will marry in July right before traveling to Iowa to start the fall semester.
Marin was born in Inglewood, raised in Torrance and graduated from Hawthorne High School in 1999. She has two brothers who have also graduated from CSULB. Marin’s father has been a platter at Moog, Inc. in Torrance for 25 years and her mother has been a machine operator for Alcoa, Inc. in Carson for 31.
Hernandez was raised in El Monte and graduated from Walnut High School in 1998. His two brothers are also pursuing college degrees. Hernandez’s parents are from Jalisco, Mexico, and currently work in education as food service and custodial employees.
Hernandez and Marin met within the College of Education during a group interview in their curriculum just after arriving at CSULB in 2006. The couple has now been engaged for a year. They have both been accepted into the doctoral program at the University of Iowa to study educational leadership and policy. Their goal is to complete the program in four years.
With her doctorate, Marin will pursue a career as a faculty member in a student affairs graduate program. Hernandez’s career goal is to become a faculty member in a master’s level student affairs preparation program. He also wants to teach in mathematics or statistics.

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