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Abe ConesaAbelardo “Abe” Conesa, BSBA ’10, MSM ’15

Abelardo “Abe” Conesa began life wearing cultural blinders – an irony for a Cuban immigrant. Coming from a single parent household, Conesa said that he did not have much access to role models or customs outside of his own enclave.

“From an assimilation standpoint, it was unfortunate that the wave of Cuban immigrants moving into the United States during the 1970s often remained in their own communities,” he said. “Growing up in that environment certainly ingrained in me the innovative and dynamic culture of Cubans, but it did not challenge me to look outside of my own cultural sphere.”

The somewhat cloistered but ultimately worldly Conesa recognized quickly that education would provide the best outlet. He embarked on his higher education path at Mercer County Community College (MCCC) in New Jersey. Once he earned his associate degree in accounting, he continued his studies by pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in 2010; and, five years later, earned his Master of Science in Management (MSM) degree in Accounting, both at TESU.

Conesa noted that his community college experience provided a useful preamble for his academic track. “MCCC allowed me to obtain a valuable foothold on my developing academic path. I had many opportunities to work one-on-one with professors and counselors and quickly developed a good sense of my academic direction.”

As a result, Conesa only needed minimal guidance in his transition to TESU’s accounting program.

“Once I was accepted into TESU, I only had to meet once with an advisor to carve out a plan,” he said. “From that point forward, I just stayed on that course. With all of my previously earned credits being accepted and the cost effectiveness of the in-state tuition, it was a done deal. I have always been very driven and independent. Being placed in a live classroom setting is not what I was looking for in a bachelor’s degree program.”

With more than 15 years’ experience in financial analysis, budget and trend analysis, and team leadership, Conesa has spent the last three years as the certified tax collector (CTC) for the Township of Ewing, N.J., where he oversees field audits, account receivables and tax reporting for the municipality. To qualify for the post, he completed a series of government services courses prior to passing his CTC board certification through Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. In January, Conesa was appointed to the position of municipal tax collector for the township upon his predecessor’s retirement. For the past 10 years, he has also served as a full voting board member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment in Ewing Township, where he also lives. The membership has given him the opportunity to collaborate in his community’s residential and commercial zoning activities.

“I cannot place a monetary value on my degrees. My experience trained me to seek beyond the obvious and present and observe my life and environment through a clearer lens,” said Conesa, who also serves as a TESU Alumni Ambassador, where he is leveraging his passion for higher education and conveying it to others while advancing the mission of the University. “There are many other ‘Abes’ out there who need to be motivated as I did. I would not want someone else to miss this incredible opportunity to grow.”

Off the clock, Abe enjoys spending time with his spouse of 18 years.

“When marriage equality was finally adopted by the state of New Jersey, my husband and I were the first same-sex couple to be legally married in our township,” he noted. “That much time as a couple has allowed both of us to meet our challenges and gather the strength to overcome any obstacles we faced together. We now share our small home with two of our rescue dogs, Bubbles and Butch.”

Learn how TESU’s students can earn their associate degrees and complete 30 additional credits at a New Jersey community college, then, seamlessly transfer 90 credits toward a bachelor’s degree program at TESU by visiting For more information on the programs at the School of Business and Management, visit