The Gustavian Weekly

Professor Tim Robinson: Changing Gustie lives since 1969 | The Gustavian Weekly

By Beth Schmidt Variety Editor | September 30, 2011 | Variety

Tim playing his trumpet at the Celebrate St. Peter day festival. Zach Fremder

Tim playing his trumpet at the Celebrate St. Peter day festival. Zach Fremder

Tim is a favorite professor of many students and faculty because he is very dedicated to his work.

“He is the ultimate teacher, administrator, scholar and intellectual,” Director of Communication Services and Special Events Dean Wahlund ’72 said. Tim has proven all of these words true.

“Tim has been a real mentor for me. He is someone who truly understands students and their needs,” Senior Psychology Major Jean Paul Noel said.

Psychology Professor Tim Robinson came to Gustavus from Forest Lake, Minn. and graduated in 1965. Four years later, in 1969, he was back at Gustavus and starting his teaching career. Though some things have changed, he would like his name to remain the same.

“It seems as I get older students call me sir—just stick with my name,” Tim said.

Tim came back as a professor to share his passion with others and spark their interests. He always comes to class ready to teach and connect with his students.

“He is so enthused about his topic,” Junior Psychology Major Katherine Arndt said about her experience in Tim’s class.
Tim is currently teaching two Introduction to Psychology classes and a Brain and Behavior class.  He has taught Brain and Behavior since he started teaching at Gustavus; it is his area of specialty, “I love teaching it,” Tim said. His students would agree with his passion for what he teaches.

“My college career without him wouldn’t have been the same,” Noel said.

One of Tim’s favorite parts about being a professor at Gustavus is having the ability to work with students on research projects. Tim loves to work with students who are driven to accomplish a goal.

“Gustavus students are capable of amazement,” Tim said.Getting the opportunity to work with Tim has helped Noel grow from a student to an active researcher at Gustavus.

Tim showing off his brain. Zach Fremder

“He has always been there for me when I needed some guidance, but perhaps more importantly and also more challenging, he has also been extremely good at giving me independence when I needed it,” Noel said.

Gustavus graduates who were taught by Tim still keep in contact with him. With the Sesquicentennial, Nobel Conference and Homecoming celebrations coming up, Tim has made plans for lunch with some of them.

One of his former students, Director of Dining Service and Book Mark Steve Kjellgren ’86, shared his experience as a student.

“Dr. Robinson’s compelling and effective, ‘Did you ever wonder why?’ and ‘Psychology holds all the answers’ bait and hook in his Introduction to Psychology class piqued my interest and drew me into the Behavioral Sciences,” Kjellgren said.

During his 42 years here at Gustavus, Tim has spent ten of them as Director of the Nobel Conference.

This year’s Nobel Conference, The Brain and Being Human, ties right into Tim’s passion, “this year is going to be great, absolutely outstanding,” Tim said.

Talking about his time with Tim, Wahlund shared how he felt and appreciated working with Tim.

“I was like his sidekick, Tim was the academic side and I was the logistic side,” Wahlund said. Tim’s work in many different areas at Gustavus has affected numerous people in such a way that “he holds his own,” Wahlund said.

Along with being a psychology professor, Tim has also designed enrichment courses for high school science teachers and served as an advisor to Fulbright and Rhodes scholarship applicants. When Tim is not teaching, he plays his trumpet in the band Flood Plain Four and raises dogs for shows.

“He is a wonderful trumpet player, I love listening to his antics,” Wahlund said.

While retirement rumors float around campus, he has only one answer to what his after Gustavus plans are: “do new stuff.”
After moving into Beck Academic Hall, Tim wouldn’t mind staying here for bit longer. If a new office isn’t enough to keep him here for a while, maybe the view is. “For the first time in 35 years, I have a window,” Tim said.

When Tim does decide to go on to new things, his service to Gustavus will still be felt. “His legacy is all the things he is,” Wahlund said.

For Tim, the best part of Gustavus is the type of student it brings him.

“The typical Gustie is friendly, open and unassuming; they are not so jaded that they are still capable of amazement,” Tim said. Tim’s advice to students is: “Don’t leave with regrets, like not taking advantage of all the opportunities that are given to you,” Tim said.