As a high school student, this tiger dreamed of being a typing and shorthand teacher.

Years later, those very typing skills secured a job a Clemson where she has worked for more than three decades. In 33 years, she’s had many Clemson Moments. Her philosophy is that “we’re not here just doing a job.” She is proud to help make our campus and Clemson a better place.

Meet Roberta Elrod.

Title: Director, grants and contracts administration

Years at Clemson:  33 years

What I do at Clemson: I lead and manage the post-award office in the Division of Research. We work together to manage an average of 1,200 externally-sponsored projects valued at approximately $300 million at any given time. I oversee the project management, fiscal management, and financial reporting for the awards from proposals that faculty write. I also lead the training, outreach and strategic operations for our department. And I work with internal and external auditors on the audits of the awards.

What I love about Clemson: I started out at Clemson as a clerical specialist in the College of Architecture’s Foundation. So I have had the opportunity in the last 30 years to work in the library, mechanical engineering department, the College of Engineering and now with the grants and contracts administration, which used to be the Finance Division. I enjoy working and collaborating with so many people across the University in the different colleges and departments. I also love Clemson football, and I love what Coach Swinney has done for the football program and players.

Accomplishment I’m most proud of: I’m glad I’ve taken the path, and I’m blessed and honored to be where I am. I graduated from Winthrop College with a degree in business education to be a typing and shorthand teacher. My mentor was my 10th grade high school teacher, Emily Land, and I wanted to be just like her. I would not be where I am today without her mentorship. I took a job at the Chester County Career Center teaching data processing and word processing to high school and adult education students. During that year, my now husband and I got engaged so after the year was up, I moved back to Oconee County and we got married. I submitted an application at Clemson when they still required a typing test and was offered the first job I applied for because of my shorthand skills. I’m so grateful to Dean Harlan McClure for helping me start my career at Clemson. I have a sister, Rita, that has been a great role model for me as well.

Where I see myself in five years: I’m planning to be retired, spending more quality time with my husband, Ken, and doing stained glass, gardening and cooking. I really enjoy cooking and want to spend more time trying new recipes.

Last thing I watched on TV: A recorded episode of Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s cooking show.

Guilty pleasure:  Ice cream. I could eat it every day.

One thing that people don’t know about me: I took the Master Gardener program offered by Public Service and Agriculture in 2007 and want to volunteer at the Botanical Garden when I retire.