Posted on Monday, September 28, 2020
Carmen Roberts ’07
Munroe Falls, Ohio
“Just keep trying.” These words of Professor Emeritus Paul Wozniak kept Carmen Roberts ’07 focused as a student at Westminster. Thirteen years later, Carmen’s focus has led to a successful career as a senior budget analyst for Kent State University and he was recently recognized as a “30 For the Future” leader by the Greater Akron Chamber for his stellar contributions to the Greater Akron region. Read on to learn more about Carmen, his professional life and the impact Westminster College had on him.
Why did you choose Westminster College?
Westminster College was known for having a great school of business and especially a strong accounting program. This immediately attracted me to the College as I knew I was going to major in accounting after having taken and enjoyed two years of high school accounting at Niles McKinley (Ohio). Additionally, it was always one of my dreams to play soccer in college and I was able to do so my freshman year. Even though my soccer career was short-lived, my experiences of playing for coach Girish Thakar were some of my best memories at Westminster.
What have you been up to since graduating?
I am a senior budget analyst for the University Budget Office at Kent State University. I am responsible for developing, preparing, implementing and analyzing financial projections and reports for various university constituencies, including senior leadership. I hold a master’s degree in public administration and a post-baccalaureate certificate in nonprofit management from Kent State University. Prior to my role in the University Budget Office, I served as the first business manager for the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion where I led the planning, development and implementation of the annual budget and achieved a balanced budget every year during my tenure. I assisted with many diversity efforts including assisting with raising $150,000 for student scholarships.
My wife, Jenna, and I reside in Munroe Falls, Ohio, where we are raising our daughter, Lydia, and are excitedly awaiting the birth of our second child. We enjoy hiking and biking in the Summit County Metro Parks and traveling when time allows for it. In 2019 I was inducted into the Niles McKinley High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. Additionally, I was recently named a “30 For the Future Award” recipient by the Greater Akron Chamber.
What Westminster professor influenced you the most and why?
Paul Wozniak, professor emeritus of accounting, was my single most influential professor while attending Westminster. Professor Wozniak went above and beyond what I would expect from a professor to ensure that I stayed in college and earned my degree. I struggled with my studies at various points throughout my time at Westminster, but Paul was always there for me. He helped guide me through my Westminster experience and looked out for me. I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for him my time at Westminster would have been vastly different. I cannot thank him enough!
Were you involved in any student organizations or teams at Westminster?
Men’s Soccer, Westminster Student Recruiter
What makes the Westminster College experience unique?
Westminster is a small school where your professors care about your wellbeing and go the extra mile to ensure you graduate. The level of care and dedication that Westminster professors exuded during my undergrad years is not easily matched. If I was struggling with course content or even life in general, professors always took time after class for one-on-one time to help me out. I even had a few instances where I could not make it to class and professors called to check up on me because they knew I commuted to campus on the infamous section of Interstate 80 between Ohio and Pennsylvania to make sure I was safe. The Westminster experience is unique being that it is a small campus community where everyone knows each other and we all pitch in to help each other out.
What significant life lesson did you learn at Westminster?
I can still remember Paul Wozniak saying “just keep trying” and that no matter how you might think the coursework is that one day, it will all click. Now, fast-forward 13 years later, I have a successful career, a growing family and everything I could have every wanted and so much more. Wozniak was right as always.
Why should a prospective student consider coming to Westminster College?
The faculty and administrators at Westminster will do everything in their power to give you the best opportunity to obtain your degree and start a successful career.
Knowing what you know now, what piece of advice would you give to yourself on that first day on campus?
Keep moving forward! Everything might not make sense now, but it will click one day. You just have to keep trying.
To learn more about Westminster’s accounting major, please click here.