08:59 AM

Carbajal Overcomes Obstacles to Earn Two Degrees, Pursue Ph.D.

By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager

There will be obstacles. There always is in route to anything worth achieving. Certainly that is the case for any endeavors within higher education. Carrie Carbajal overcame obstacles including a hearing disability to earn her two master’s degrees from Bellevue University.

Carbajal certainly isn’t afraid of a challenge. Not ready to stop with those degrees, she is now pursuing her Ph.D. in the University’s Human Capital Management program.

Carbajal first enrolled at Bellevue University in 2010 while she was a Contracting Officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in San Franciso, California.

Carbajal completed her Master of Business Administration in 2013 and followed that up with a Master of Science in Contract & Acquisition Management in 2017.

I wanted to be a director of contracts in the future and having a degree in contracts would be impressive,” she said. “I decided to see what Bellevue had to offer and saw that they offered a Master of Science in Acquisitions and Contract Management. The degree was online, and it worked with my work schedule.”

In addition to the challenges of pursing higher education while juggling outside obligations, Carbajal worked and still does today to overcome her hearing disability.

I am deaf in one ear with partial hearing in the other,” she explained. “I wear a hearing aid and have a cochlear implant. I learn best with the assistance of a CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation) provider.”

A CART provider delivers real-time captioning that is composed of text that can be used by people who are deaf or heard of hearing to access content delivered by spoken words and sounds.

“I find that real-time captioning is one of the best resources to use in school as I can spend my time listening to the teacher and use the captions and transcripts to increase my success. I don’t have to spend my time asking the teacher or classmates repeated questions,” Carbajal said. “This topic is huge for me as I had to break barriers in the workplace and school.”

Carbajal credited Terra Beethe, a Training and Organizational Specialist at the University, with helping her get the assistance she needed.

“She was instrumental in listening to me explain about my disability and how I best learn and what accommodations that I need to succeed,” Carbajal said. “In the beginning, it was a rough transition, but ultimately with a commitment to learning, compassion and patience, it all worked out.”

Carbajal’s experiences through her two master’s degree programs made the decision to pursue her Ph.D. at Bellevue University an easy one.

“I have enjoyed the passion and dedication of Bellevue University’s faculty and staff. It’s so diverse and incredible the amount commitment they have invested in you once you enroll in the school,” she said. “The graduation experience is one that I will never forget as the University creates an atmosphere in which your achievements and success are recognized. It’s a feeling that can’t be described unless you are there.”

Some inspirational words from a Bellevue University faculty member also helped motivate her to pursue her doctorate.

“I remember sitting at my graduation for my Master’s of Science in Acquisition and Contract Management and listening to the Dean of College of Business, Rebecca Murdock, speak about success and the future,” Carbajal said. “She mentioned that no matter where we go in our lives, that we are all unique and opportunities are endless. If we want to change the world, to make it better, then it is up to us as individuals to make the greatest change to humanity.”

Carbajal credits the support from her family for helping her through her academic and career endeavors.

“My biggest supporters have been my family that includes my parents, Mark Evans and Margaret Evans-Brandt; my three brothers, David, Captain Timothy Evans and Daniel Evans; and my husband, Daniel Carbajal,” she said. “My husband has been a shining light and a big strength of support at times when I didn’t think I could get through the programs. He pushed me to see outside my perceived limitations to see the endless possibilities that life has to offer. Why not get a Ph.D.!”