Governors State Armed Alumnus for a Life of Service
Command Sergeant Major (ret.) Howard Robinson, a 2006 Governors State University graduate earning a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Healthcare Administration and Public Policy, returned in 2015 to complete a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.
He has had careers in not only the military, but as a healthcare administrator, a political consultant, and a GSU adjunct professor. After serving as the Senior Campaign Manager for Sen. Michael E. Hastings in Illinois’s 19th District, Robinson pursued his own political aspirations with an appointment as Trustee in the Village of Olympia Fields. Retired from the U.S. Army after achieving the highest enlisted ranking, Robinson now serves as the Senior Advisor to Sen. Hastings.
“I was just so blessed to be able to have attended GSU,” reflects Robinson. “Then, I was afforded the opportunity to come back and teach. That was a highlight for me—returning as an adjunct professor allowed me to go the classroom and not only teach healthcare politics and epidemiology, but also mentor the students.”
Why did you choose GSU?
From the beginning, I knew that GSU was highly recommended for its Healthcare Administration program and since I was in healthcare, that’s what I wanted to pursue.
What did you get from GSU that was unique to the university?
The camaraderie. The professors were definitely top notch and my fellow students interacted well together; it was more of a family environment there at GSU. I felt so comfortable attending the university that I ended up obtaining both my bachelor’s and my master’s degrees from Governors State.
What’s next for you professionally?
I retired from the military and, currently, I work alongside Senator Michael Hastings of the 19th District as the senior advisor. I’m looking to pursue opportunities to assist my fellow veterans. I have 30 years of healthcare experience and 30 years of military experience, so what I want to do is give back, through my experience in leadership and in healthcare. I want to be able to give back to the community and also be able to mentor young people who want to pursue careers, not only healthcare, but if they so choose, a career in the military. I feel I can be a great mentor for those individuals.
How did your GSU degree help you advance your career?
The knowledge I received from GSU was invaluable. I had professors who ensured I was armed with the knowledge and current information I could use within my chosen career. I remember one professor, Donna Gellatly who told me never to forget the three D’s: document, document, document. I took that with me and it really proved valuable throughout my healthcare career as well as my military career. The faculty were great mentors to me. It was just a warm environment that made me want to be a part of that. When I look back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
What are you most proud of when you look back at your GSU experience?
I am most proud of graduating with my degree in Healthcare Administration. It was a long road for me because of my military career and because of some health setbacks. I came back to GSU and was accepted with open arms by my fellow students who supported and assisted me. Thebest part of the experience was receiving my master’s degree and having it presented by Sen. Hastings. Being able to include my wife and children made it that much better. My mom, who has since passed, was also present to see her oldest son receive his degree.
What advice would you share with current GSU students?
Complete that degree. Learn all you can and never give up. The road is tough and there will always be bumps and hurdles along the way. You must stay the course. Remember: education is the key to success.