October 4, 2023
Christopher Etheredge

CSU, Alabama fire chiefs group awards scholarship

CSU is proud to announce the winner of the CSU/Alabama Association of Fire Chiefs scholarship: Christopher Etheredge of Dothan (Ala.) Fire Department.

Etheredge, a battalion chief with the department, won the scholarship based on his entry in an essay contest sponsored by CSU and the AAFC, an organization that provides professional opportunities for fire chiefs.

“I delayed my formal education, in 1992, in an effort to focus on my career only to return and finish my associate degree in 2009. With the assistance of federal student loans, I achieved my bachelor’s degree in 2011. The burden of financing the pursuit of a graduate degree and raising a family seemed too great before this opportunity presented itself,” Etheredge wrote in his essay.

He plans to use the scholarship to obtain an online master’s degree in business administration with a concentration in public administration. The annual scholarship covers tuition for up to 24 months for one specific online degree program with CSU.

“My short-term career goal is to continue to advance to chief of the department when the position becomes available. This appointment currently requires a master’s degree for consideration,” Etheredge explained. “My long-range career goals include interests in education, city or county management and possibly the political realm. The public administration degree at Columbia Southern University applies to all of my current and future goals as I continue to serve the citizens of our great city and county.”

He is an ardent believer in education, and as a public information officer with his department, he enjoys educating others about their services.

“I believe that in order to continue the transformation of the fire service from a “trade” to a true profession, we must continually strive to raise the bar of knowledge and formal education. I have been and will continue to be an advocate for an institution, such as CSU, that assists us in raising that bar, specifically with a course offering schedule that allows our public servants such flexibility.”