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Retaining African-American Students - College Talks


Recruitment is just the first step, retention and graduation are the real goals.

Joseph Robinson, Jr. is the eldest of three (3) children born to parents from the rural south. His parents, both raised on farms in the Carolinas, did not complete high school. Joe was the first of all his relatives, maternal or paternal, to earn a bachelor’s degree.

He graduated from an inner city high school in south central Pa. in the top 10% of his class. He was also the captain of the varsity basketball team. He went on to attend the University of Virginia, at that time 3% African-American, where he soon discovered that his high school performance was old news and he had to prove himself over again.

Despite Setbacks

After overcoming the academic challenges of a freshman, Joe successfully earned his degree and went on to enjoy a distinguished 26 year career with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. As a senior manager with PENNDOT, Joe hired and mentored over 50 college interns throughout his career. He recently authored a book entitled, 7 Leadership Imperatives from a Wildman.

Surviving on Campus

Joe will share with students the valuable lessons he learned about surviving on campus and excelling in the workforce. In his presentations he provides:

Joe’s presentations are critically important in encouraging and empowering all students, but especially minority students, to pursue their aspirations with confidence, despite the challenges inherent in unfamiliar settings. Within the first 15 minutes Joe will change their total outlook

Joseph Robinson, Jr. is available for:

"Describing the essentials of ethical decision making and steward leadership is not easy. We were appreciative of such a thoughtful and relevant way in which Joe led us through examples to the concepts. The students were both intense in their listening and reflective in what was said--this was an engaging learning experience for the class."
Karen K. Oates, Ph.D.
Provost - ( former )

Topics Include:

Joe will inspire and entertain students with humorous anecdotes and stories that illustrate effective leadership. They will be challenged and encouraged to view leadership through new lenses and leave motivated to daringly lead.

Joe faces head-on the reality that all students will not achieve Dean's List status and provides students with effective strategies for bouncing back with marketable skills for employment following graduation.

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