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Spirit of Community award goes to UC computer engineer

Student recognized by CEAS for his dedication to the UC community

Smiling male student in graduation cap, gown, and many honors tassels stands outside Nippert Stadium, holding a diploma, with his other arm around a woman

Kyle Robinson, right, and Cheryll Dunn, at the award ceremony in April. Photo/Provided.

Kyle Robinson was selected by the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) for the Spirit of Community Award.

Robinson and other award recipients were recognized at the all-university recognition ceremony hosted by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development in April.

Every year, each UC college honors one student who exemplifies a high standard of contribution to student life, both within their college and the greater campus community. The Spirit of Community Award recognizes students who have stood out in their contributions to build a stronger community.

Robinson, who received his bachelor’s degree this spring in computer engineering (with minors in mathematics and computer science), was honored for his dedicated service to CEAS, the Cincinnati community, and the communities surrounding his co-op sites.

“Robinson has changed many lives through his physical work and his innovations and planning time to make any program better,” the award nomination said. “Through this award, the College of Engineering and Applied Science recognizes Kyle Robinson not only for his college and university involvement but because he takes that spirit of community wherever he goes as a representative of CEAS.”

As a leader, you need the ability to envision of the future and set sustainable goals by developing your own critical thinking skills and involving the younger generations.

Kyle Robinson, UC computer engineering graduate

Two people stand smiling in a conference space, each one with one arm behind the other's back

Kyle Robinson represents GE Aviation at National Society of Black Engineers convention with Whitney Gaskins, right. Photo/Provided

A central focus of Robinson’s service involves the next generation of engineers and other young professionals.

“I continually try to lead within the community by committing myself through service in the communities of Cincinnati,” Robinson says.

Since his first year at UC, he has participated in the Cincinnati STEMulate, a non-profit program designed to increase the number of engineers and applied scientists in the Cincinnati area over the next 20 years. Robinson participated in events for students in the community such as Engineer for a Day, STEM Fests and Math Help Nights, for which he received an National Technical Association Honors Award for Community Service. 

Additionally, Robinson is a leader through a plethora of organizations he has joined throughout his collegiate career: ADVANCE Organization, National Society of Black Engineers, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Gentleman’s Quarterly. He was able to grow in his foundation of leadership, interpersonal skills and need for challenging roles that have allowed him to continually perform above and beyond the normal scope. Robinson's impact on campus has given him the special honors of being tapped into Sigma Sigma, National Society of Leadership and Success and the Collegiate 100.

Four students in suits and gold and purple stoles stand holding certificates, along with three other older men in a banquet room

UC student Kyle Robinson celebrates at the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity's Honor Society Induction. Photo/Provided

Furthermore, Robinson has volunteered countless hours through his membership in student organizations such as the National Society of Black Engineers, ADVANCE, Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Tau Xi Chapter, and Sigma Sigma.

The National Society of Black Engineers is a collegiate organization whose mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers and to help them excel academically, succeed professionally and improve the community. Throughout his time at UC, Robinson served as Regional Board Planning Committee vice chair and vice president.

Robinson served in various roles (including vice president, vice president of internal affairs and director of information systems)  for ADVANCE, a minority professional development organization that supports minority students at UC to enhance their career awareness and preparation for career success.

Robinson also served as director of information technology and membership chair for Gentlemen’s Quarterly, playing a crucial role in recruitment and communication with members. Gentlemen's Quarterly’s mission is to unite men of color for mutual success by promoting brotherhood, community service and mentorship. 

Five college-aged people stand behind a donation box inside a warehouse; a forklift and boxes on shelves are in the background

Robinson volunteers at the Galveston Food Bank while on co-op with Marathon Petroleum. Photo/Provided

During his senior year, Robinson was tapped for Sigma Sigma Honorary, whose values include “unselfish service and loyalty to the best interest of our alma mater.”

Robinson particularly enjoys Sigma Sigma’s emphasis on local community engagement, he says.

“I have enjoyed giving back to the UC community to enhance the overall experience for all UC students,” he says.

Not even co-op relocations could hold Robinson back from his passion for volunteering. Robinson participated in four co-ops during his undergraduate studies; three within General Electric Aviation and one with Marathon Petroleum Company LP. He sought out community service while on co-op out of state, participating in Kids Food Basket 12 Days of Giving (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Ronald McDonald House Merry Meal Makers of Western Michigan, Habitat for Humanity Home Build (Galveston, Texas), and within the Food Banks of Galveston, Texas.

Robinson sees the roles of engineer and community leader in a similar light—in both, he strives to improve the world around them by making new connections.

Male student in graduation cap, gown, and many honors tassels stands holding a diploma, outside Nippert Stadium with his arm around a woman

UC stduent Kyle Robinson poses at graduation. Photo/Provided

“I chose to major in computer engineering because we are living in a digital age where computer programs permeate every aspect of life,” he says. “The field offers limitless opportunities—through collaborative work and individual effort—for true creativity and innovation and most importantly, making a positive difference within the world.”

Robinson’s experiences in community engagement informs his work.

“Good leaders must establish that they are trustworthy to the community and to fellow leaders. Trust facilitates productive discussions and desired social change,” he explains. “As a leader, you need the ability to envision of the future and set sustainable goals by developing your own critical thinking skills and involving the younger generations.”

Following his graduation, Robinson relocated to Grand Rapids, Mich., to take a full-time position in GE's Edison Engineering Development Program, where he says he has had exceptional experiences in his new career in engineering and product design.

Robinson may have left Ohio for now, but the Bearcats are never far from his mind, he says.

“I look forward to giving back to the University of Cincinnati and continuously striving, personally and professionally in efforts to make the world a better place,” Robinson says.