Robinett to receive President's Award for Engagement with Students

University Park, Pa. -- Richard Robinett, professor of physics in the Eberly College of Science, has received the 2011 President's award for Engagement with Students.

The award is given to a faculty member who goes beyond his or her responsibilities to engage and encourage students in learning. The honorees have made themselves available to interact with students outside class, link students to opportunities, and help them build their confidence as learners and potential contributors to society.

Robinett, who serves as associate head of the physics department, is recognized for his efforts as director of undergraduate studies in the department. In that role, he has been the single point of contact for "all things undergraduate" in both major and minor programs in physics, including assessment, program and degree requirements, and recruitment. Since 2003, he has been the adviser for all prospective and declared physics majors, including Physics Schreyer Scholars.

He meets with all prospective majors and their families visiting Penn State before admission. Once admitted, he regularly monitors their progress by checking schedules before each semester, meeting with them, and checking grades at the end of each semester. "This type of involvement with students over the entire arc of their Penn State careers," one nominator said, "allows him to get to know them and their longer-term plans, thus helping him to craft the strongest possible preparation for their post graduation success."

Robinett also serves as adviser to the Society of Physics Students chapter and the Penn State branch of Sigma Pi Sigma honor society, providing guidance for SPS-organized activities for the last six years.

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Last Updated March 17, 2011