In the News: Robinson on education at Ft. Bliss; Nickless on fundraising; Wright, Webster neighbor on Ferguson

| August 22, 2014

Recent news media coverage involving Webster University community members includes:

Webster Alum, Ft. Bliss Faculty Member Discusses Mentoring, Career Transition

Fort Bliss faculty member and Webster alumnus DaShawn Robinson was profiled by El Paso’s KTSM Newschannel 9 for his impact as a mentor and chief of education and veteran support services at the El Paso Veterans Affairs Health Care System. Robinson discussed the mid-career transition he made before getting a master’s degree from Webster.

“In Germany I had the opportunity, as a healthcare specialist, to be in charge of the other medics and nursing techs who were there. I became encapsulated with the culture. It was a perfect experience. It was like one family.”

Robinson had begun taking college classes while still at WBAMC, but in Germany he became serious about his education. For him, it became more than just a way to better himself.

“I tell people it was like a disease, like a need. Knowledge was my sickness,” said Robinson.


As a sergeant, he was the noncommissioned officer-in-charge, a position he earned, not based on rank, but instead on his education. He was soon promoted to staff sergeant.

While fulfilling the roles the Army had given him, Robinson also took on another role. After finishing his master’s degree in 2004, he began teaching at the same place he earned his degree, Webster University.

Robinson teaches in the Master’s of Health Administration program at Webster’s Fort Bliss campus location and is the primary professor for the capstone there. Read the full feature, “Once a Soldier, Always a Mentor,” here.

Nickless Discusses Fundraising, Study Abroad, with ‘Give & Take’

Ken Nickless, director of planned giving, is interviewed about a variety of Webster and fundraising topics in a lengthy article for “Give & Take,” a publication by The Sharpe Group distributed nationally to fundraisers.

Asked about Webster’s global orientation and study abroad, Nickless cited the impact of recent donor support to make study abroad more accessible:

Almost one-third of the students at our main campus in St. Louis decide to study abroad at one of our other campuses or at other locations through various study abroad programs.

That figure is remarkable when you consider that more than half of our students are Pell Grant eligible. Many of our students are the first in their family to attend college and have jobs in addition to their studies. Many can’t take time away from work for 8 or 16 weeks or afford the additional cost of international travel.

In response to this need, one of our donors whom we featured in our latest newsletter and on our website created an international travel fund to enable students to take time off of work so they could pursue that educational opportunity. Another donor couple recently made a seven-figure commitment for the same purpose.

The article will be available online next month with the September issue of Give & Take.

Webster Neighbor: Student-Led Peaceful Demonstration Has Calming Effect

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch article about how people are handling the stress from 12 days of unrest in Ferguson included quotes from a Webster Groves resident who said Tuesday’s student-organized peaceful demonstration at Webster University had a calming effect for some:

Strawbridge and her family felt less helpless after attending a peaceful protest at Webster University, she said.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be getting in the car and driving to Ferguson to help,” Bruce said. “There’s tons of research that shows that philanthropy and helping others does enormous positive good for a person’s overall sense of self and mood and anxiety.”

The article also circulated in multiple outlets outside of St. Louis.

CAS Advisory Board Member, Former Superintendent, Provides Perspective on Ferguson

In its coverage of Ferguson’s demographics and history of tensions, the MSNBC show “All In With Chris Hayes” interviewed John A. Wright, a member of the Webster University College of Arts & Sciences advisory board who has served in superintendent and assistant superintendent roles in the St. Louis Public Schools, Normandy School District and Ferguson-Florissant School Districts.

Watch that segment, “A Tale of Two Fergusons,” at MSNBC here.

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Category: Faculty, Military, Webster in the News

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