September 21st was Robin Riley-Casey’s birthday!
Robin is the director of Multicultural Life here at Muhlenberg, but she’s so much more than that to those who have gotten to know her personally. She’s giving, caring and such an inspiration to those around her. I first got to know Robin through the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP; a pre-orientation program geared towards those who have an interest in expanding diversity and multicultural life at Muhlenberg). Because of her desire to create a welcoming space that students consider “home,” I instantly felt comfortable.
St. Thomas is a diverse community; the majority of people living there are African-Americans, and then you have Indians, Arabs, Hispanics, the French and whites and those from other Caribbean islands… any culture you are looking for, St. Thomas will probably have. At Muhlenberg however, the majority of people are white, and there is an incredibly small community of those from different backgrounds. Though the high school I went to on island was predominantly white, I was still shocked at how different the overall culture of the college was compared to home. Robin and the Emerging Leaders Program gave me a sense of relief knowing that I had a place to go to when I felt lost amongst the rest of peers… when the overwhelming “whiteness” of the student body made me feel like an outsider.
Being apart of the ELP enabled me to meet and befriend other students of color. The program prepared me for the rest of my college career and if I was not a part of it, I do not think I would be who I am today. From the moment I stepped onto this campus, I felt as though I was a part of something, and in addition to becoming my on campus family, the program and those involved assisted in the transition from high school to college. On the first day of the program we had homework to turn in and lessons on how to adapt to the college life-style.
So in honor of Robin and all that she has done, Jasmine Anderson (one of the interns at the Multicultual Center) put together a surprise birthday party! In attendance we had Emerging Leaders from the Class of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. We also had faculty, the Dean of Students, and those who were not even a part of the Emerging Leaders but just love Robin! Jasmine put together such a wonderful event. There was food, music, dancing and you can tell that everyone had a wonderful time.
So thank you Jasmine for putting together this surprise party for Robin, thank you Robin for everything you have done for us, and I hope you had an amazing time. It’s important for us to recognize those who have made a difference in our lives, and Robin you have touched the hearts of us all.
Robin and Dean Green!
Robin and I! #ELPClassof2016
Robin and J! #ELPClassof2018
Robin and Jasmine!
Some Emerging Leaders and non-EL’s.
We love you so much, Robin!
Until next time,