On a successful track
Former student-athlete advising KSU graduate students
KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug 23, 2017) — As a student-athlete at Kennesaw State University, Shakedra Robinson was adept at managing her time and staying focused on her goals. Robinson in turn reached new heights, setting the school high-jump record and helping KSU women’s track and field win its first conference championships.
Those attributes serve Robinson well in assisting students in her new role at Kennesaw State. Robinson is as an admissions counselor in the Office of Graduate Admissions, a position she began a week after graduating in May with an Integrative Studies degree.
“We hired an employee with four years of experience in the ‘KSU experience’ — which, in the end, is what we are convincing prospective graduate students they want also,” said Mark Forehand, assistant dean of Graduate International Programs and director of Graduate Admissions.
In the Office of Graduate Admissions, Robinson helps prospective students select the graduate program that is best for them. She handles graduate student counseling and application management for the Coles College of Business, WellStar College of Health and Human Services, University College and all dual degree programs.
“I like to let students know the type of big decisions and opportunities ahead, and help guide them to and through these things,” Robinson said. “Though they may have parents or other older people who are trying to guide them, it is easier to take heed of guidance from someone who is not only closer to you in age, but who experienced the very thing that you want to accomplish in this present day and time.”
Robinson is a good example for the approximately 3,000 students in The Graduate College to follow; she earned her degree while balancing her studies with practices and meets during both the indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Along the way, Robinson set the Kennesaw State high-jump record (5 feet, 9.25 inches) and earned multiple all-Atlantic Sun Conference accolades in heptathlon, pentathlon and high jump.
However, more meaningful to her than any individual achievement was the goal that she and her teammates set – to win Kennesaw State’s first conference championship in women’s track and field. They accomplished that twofold this spring, winning both the indoor and outdoor A-Sun titles.
“It meant a lot to be here four years working toward that and finally getting it – not for just one season, but for two seasons,” Robinson said. “It was school history.”
“Shakedra was a great athlete for us, but an even better person,” said Andy Eggerth, KSU’s director of track and field and cross country. “Shakedra’s passion about her chosen discipline fostered a great work ethic and focus in training, resulting in a great deal of success. I’m glad that Shakedra is still benefiting Own Nation.”
While Robinson enjoys her current role at her alma mater, her long-term plan is to work with students who are a little younger. After volunteering with the nonprofit organization Hands On Atlanta as a tutor and mentor for children, Robinson plans to pursue a master’s degree in education and become a middle-school math teacher and athletic director.
“I enjoyed that experience, and it really got me motivated to go towards my next goal,” Robinson said. “I feel like the only thing that those kids were missing was the motivation. Once they see someone who is older and is in a position that they have thought about being in or want to pursue, then they’re more open to listen.”
Serving as an admissions counselor for graduate students remains Robinson’s current priority, but she is more than happy to promote Kennesaw State to undergraduate students as well. Robinson, who hails from the small, south Georgia town of Lumber City (population 1,250), recounted a recent conversation she had with someone from her hometown.
“I am glad I chose Kennesaw State. It’s been full of different experiences, it’s been full of opportunities,” Robinson said. “A girl from my high school who is thinking about coming here asked me, ‘If you could choose again, would you choose Kennesaw State?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’”
— Paul Floeckher
Photos by David Caselli
A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its approximately 41,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.