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March 21, 2018

Alumni Spotlight: Evan Stark ’05 (Religion-Philosophy)

Evan Stark ’05 (Religion-Philosophy) is the Vice President of Sales for the Dorschel Automotive Group in Rochester, NY.  He graduated just over 10 years ago with a degree in Religion & Philosophy which may seem like an odd fit for the work he is doing today, but if you talk to Evan you will quickly realize that his background in the humanities, and his experience at Roberts, prepared him well for his career path.

Evan is married to his wife, Jessica, and has three daughters Lily, Aria, and Eliana.  They live in the Rochester area and attend The Parish of the Holy Family. 

Let’s learn more about Evan and his experience in his own words. 

What brought you to Roberts?

I have always had a broad range of interests and loved that I could double major in Engineering and Religion & Philosophy.  I fell in love with the campus at an RWConnection event and the rest is history.

How did your experience at Roberts shape your life and career path?

It was very formative to be academically challenged by so many inspiringly well-educated figures who were also truly engaged in and committed to their faith.  So many of my professors were examples to set me on a path of trying to make my daily work a service to others and ultimately a work that was pleasing to the Lord.  I fell in love with philosophy and apologetics and the open environment for discussion that Roberts consistently provided was a great example to me in how to engage others in relationships that make long term evangelization possible through respectful dialogue.

Describe your current vocation and the way God is working in your life.

I am the Vice President of Sales for one of the area’s largest auto dealer groups.  We attempt to change the way cars are sold by eliminating the traditional wasted time and back and forth that characterizes most vehicle purchases.  It is incredibly rewarding to devote my life to trying to improve the skillset, income, and lives of so many amazing employees and their families while taking the stress out of one of life’s largest decisions for members of our community.

Describe a person/professor at Roberts who made an impact on you.

Dr. Scott Caton made a tremendous impact on me. First, he was an inspiration in terms of his learnedness and the accuracy and detail of his memory but then consistently as an example of rigorous logical consistency, and an amazing ability to openly probe all angles of an issue with objectivity to such a degree that folks on both sides of a bitter issue might walk away convinced that he favored his or her position by virtue of his understanding of their side. That type of understanding is only capable with great love and because it is fueled by a great love, it is so capable of making lasting changes in the lives of his students.

Share a fun story, memory, experience.

I remember very fondly the number of weekends we spent grappling on floors of Minor Hall practicing Brazilian Jui-Jitsu developing all sorts of crazy rug burn and I am still amused/amazed/gratified that we were allowed to host a Fight Night Fundraiser for Haitian Children on Campus.

What advice/insight do you have for current students interested in your career field?

The automotive industry is truly unique in the number of positions it provides that allow you to determine your own future.  Regardless of your background a strong drive to succeed at anything you do, equal portions of confidence and humility, and an ability to learn make the sky the limit in the automotive world.  I didn’t really like cars and I never had an interest in business, but I loved talking with people, asking them questions and striving for truth.  That love and an ability to shrug off the rejection that comes with any sales position allowed me to stay in long enough to get hooked on the endless opportunities for improving my skill sets first in sales and then in management.

Roberts will always be a blessed memory for me. The diverse learning opportunities, the ability to spend hours working out at The VAC, the hours spent “bulking” in Garlock with so many different conversations going on all around or just an amazing books in hand, the huge variety of fascinating people to learn with and from, the diverse experiences offered at Chapel, the warm daffodil breeze of an evening in May beneath purple budded trees… 

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