Alumni Spotlight: Tim Abraham
Chief Operating Officer, Office of the Cabinet Secretary, West Virginia Department of Administration, Charleston, W.Va
How has your Eberly degree contributed to your professional career?
My Political Science degree laid the foundation for my professional career in West Virginia state government. I learned how to critically analyze public policy and administration issues and how to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. This classroom education, combined with practical internship opportunities available to ECAS students, opened the door for me to give back to West Virginia as a public servant. My Eberly degree was my front-row ticket into the professional arena.
What makes you most proud of being an Eberly graduate?
It is humbling to recognize that I have a degree from the largest college of West Virginia’s flagship university. As an Eberly graduate, I know that I took advantage of innumerable opportunities to learn from some of the nation’s greatest professors. I am proud to be part of a select group individuals with varying academic and professional interests held together by a common general pursuit of knowledge and critical thinking skills. It is this well-roundedness that positions an Eberly graduate for success in a dynamic global environment.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
“Take your job seriously, but not yourself.” I think that this quote helps me keep a sense of perspective in my professional career. As a public servant, I am entrusted to spend taxpayer dollars in the most efficient and effective manner possible. I take that responsibility very seriously. When facing issues, decisions, and criticisms, it is important to not let that change my attitude or outlook in a negative way. To be successful, regardless of your professional career, you should maintain a positive outlook and humble confidence to collaborate with others. While we may have differing opinions on some issues, there are common ideas that we all want to see progress made towards. For example, in relation to my professional arena, we all want to move West Virginia forward – to see the great state that we love progress to her greatest heights. While we all will have ideas about how to do so, we need to remain focused on that central idea and not let personal ambition, attitudes, or gain lead us away from that goal.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
I was privileged to learn from many outstanding professors during my four years as an Eberly student. With that said, Dr. DiClerico stands out as my favorite because of his teaching and advising. From his intellectually challenging and thought-provoking American Presidency course to his personal advising sessions, Dr. DiClerico helped shape my drive to give back to West Virginia through public service. Some of my fondest memories are of him taking a keen, personal interest in my academic and professional goals and then discussing his memories (as a Massachusetts native) of seeing the Boston Bruins – my favorite hockey team – dominate the National Hockey League in the early 1970’s. To have a nationally renowned academic show personal interest in my life – from my career to sports enthusiasm – was a great blessing to me. Since graduation, Dr. DiClerico has helped me on numerous occasions by advising me and writing letters of recommendation to further both my academic and professional career. I am forever grateful to him.
What advice would you give to incoming students or students thinking about coming to WVU?
WVU is a special place – a unique opportunity to be at the single most identifiable symbol of not just a state, but of a people. Mountaineers – whether native West Virginians or those who wisely choose to come to our great state – are a proud people. As a WVU student, you not only have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned academics and practitioners in diverse fields and to have fun outside the classroom, but you have the responsibility to represent Mountaineers that came before you. Make us proud by succeeding in the classroom, passionately cheering on the Mountaineer athletic teams, and making a positive difference in your community and state.
Any news you like to share?
I am engaged to be married to the love of my life and fellow WVU alumna, Kelly Lowe (WVU ’01,’03), on May 23, 2011.