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Erin Robinson | Canisius College, Buffalo NY

Sociology and Environmental Studies professor Erin E. Robinson, PhD, will lead the academic procession during commencement ceremonies in May, an honor reserved solely for the recipient of the Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award. Conferred by the Alumni Association, the award recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world. 

A scholar, educator and prevailing environmental steward, Robinson has coalesced her expertise in environmental sociology and the study of social movements to grow the college‚Äôs environmental studies program at Canisius and mobilize meaningful change in the community. Her holistic approach with students fosters thought-provoking conversations and encourages them to observe, experience and reflect on the potential for social change. 

Outside the classroom, Robinson engages students in the full scope of her scholarship, which focuses on issues of conservation and has had a broad and sustainable impact on the local community. She advanced groundwater remediation practices with the support of a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and examined air quality among residents living in and around the Tonawanda Coke Plant and other industrial facilities. With assistance from the New York State Department of Conservation and undergraduate research students, Robinson also redeveloped a nearby urban setting into a sustainable community garden. 

Robinson holds a PhD in sociology from SUNY at Buffalo, an MA in sociology from the University of Tennessee and a BA from SUNY at Geneseo. 

Submitted by: Erin Zack, director, Office of Alumni Engagement