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Forward, Together Forward: Anthony Roberts dreams, innovates

March 6, 2015
Anthony Roberts applies his experimental skills in NIU’s Biomedical Engineering & Sensor Laboratory.

Anthony Roberts applies his experimental skills
in NIU’s Biomedical Engineering & Sensor Laboratory.

Anthony Roberts dreams of one day becoming an innovator and a notable engineer in the medical device industry.

By all accounts, the senior who hails from Nigeria is on his way to making that dream a reality.

“I believe that success as an engineer in this day and age requires technical competence and a combination of management, leadership, communication and business skills,” said Roberts, who is majoring in biomedical engineering. “NIU is equipping me with skills in varying ways.”

Roberts’ journey to NIU wasn’t a straight path.

After graduating from secondary school in Nigeria at age 16, he moved to the United States. Roberts earned an associate degree from a Chicago community college in 2013, and began searching for a university to call home.

“Deciding what university to transfer to was an overwhelming experience because paying for education at a four-year university was beyond the financial limits for my single mother and me,” Roberts said. “Fortunately, I received the Transfer Center Residential Scholarship and Dean’s Diversity Scholarship from NIU. These scholarships opened the gate of opportunity for me and welcomed me into the Huskie community.”

As a transfer student, Roberts didn’t waste any time immersing himself in the community.

“I have enjoyed observing Tony’s quick acclimation to NIU,” said NIU President Doug Baker.

“He has maintained a strong balance among his various areas of study, and other extracurricular activities, truly exemplifying the academic liberal arts goals at this stage of the educational process. I believe his academic successes have produced the necessary foundation to ensure ongoing achievement as his specialized education has gradually replaced his general education.”

Julia Spears, associate vice provost for engaged learning, shared the sentiment.

“Even with all of these extra-curricular activities, Tony maintains a strong grade point average,” Spears said. “Clearly, Tony is a leader. He continually seeks opportunities at NIU that will help him grow, making him an exceptional example of the effect of engaging in the college experience. Tony has much to offer the world of academia and has a very promising future.”

Whether it’s serving as president of Stevenson Hall Council, a Northern Lights Ambassador for the College of Engineering and Engineering Technology or working on his research, Roberts is steadfast in his work and does what he says he will do.

“I have had the honor of watching him grow personally and academically,” Spears said. “He has demonstrated a strong work ethic to all his commitments, he is very involved in the campus community and balances both his academic and extra-curricular pursuits with ease.”

by Jane Donahue