Reverend Raymond K. Robinson’s years in the U.S. Army, including three years abroad in Germany, taught him responsibility and accountability – skills useful to him working in university residence halls and academic advising.
“In these positions, I worked to create a good environment for students that was conducive to studying and learning,” said Robinson. “If they had any issues or needed to talk, they knew they could come to me.”
His breadth of experience and commitment to helping students tap into their “uniqueness” propelled him into his current role as assistant director and advisor for Webster University, where he has helped create environments that foster supportive, stimulating and challenging learning opportunities.
His duties include recruiting students for the business college and advising graduate and undergraduate students through the admissions process. He also meets with teachers and helps set curriculum and structure classes. He is adamant about making himself available to any student who needs help or has questions about how to achieve their academic goals. He personally understands the challenges of college and encourages students to be the best they can possibly be.
“I wasn’t the greatest student growing up, so I can easily see and relate to what they are going through. I’m the first person in my family to finish high school and college. I know it is not easy,” Robinson said. “I’ll often stay after office hours to meet with students and answer any questions they may have. They seem to be comfortable discussing their struggles and issues with me.”
He previously worked as assistant resident coordinator at Mississippi State University, resident hall director at Saint Louis University, and resident counselor at Job Corps in St. Louis.
Aside from his work in residence halls, he also taught a combined nine years for Bishop Healy and St. Louis Catholic Academy. His positions included 4th, 7th, and 8th grade classroom teacher. As a teacher, he could often be found counseling and helping students with homework. He then later served as youth minister and Bible class teacher for various institutions.
His own educational journey started with earning an associate’s degree from North Iowa Area Community College and then his bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Speech Communication from Iowa State University. Lastly, he completed his master of divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary.
He credits his family for being patient with him in his busy career and his faith for sustaining him and giving him the wisdom needed to be successful. Robinson understands that in order for students to be successful they need people in their corner encouraging them to keep moving forward. He knows that many students need a little extra counseling and hands-on advice in order to meet their goals and excel in their programs.
“A colleague of mine once told me that if you do the bare minimum, the students will never know you. You’ll just be another paycheck,” said Robinson. “If you want to make a difference, you have to do more than what is expected of you.”
When Robinson is working with students, he said it often barely feels like work. He enjoys building relationships with them and seeing the improvement that is possible with a little extra support. His philosophy when working with students has always been to “break it down and make it simple.” He believes making education accessible is a form of activism, citing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“If Dr. King can give his life for the advancement of people, the least I can do is give my time,” said Robinson. “I want to help each student where they are so they eventually go where they are supposed to be.”