Dr. C. Robert Emerson
“The greatest reward is getting to know the students. I’m a better faculty member because I have the opportunity to interact more closely with them.”
Systems science and industrial engineering professor Bob Emerson came to Binghamton University in 1986 when the Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science was established. He fulfilled his academic duties, even chairing his department for 13 years. Emerson also took advantage of an opportunity to become a faculty master in one of Binghamton’s residential colleges.
“Studies show that students who interact closely with faculty members and who get involved with activities outside the academic realm have a more positive overall experience,” says Emerson. “Binghamton has long understood this relationship, and the faculty master program is the way we create a bridge between academics and co-curricular learning. Students are here to grow, and I’m here to facilitate some of that growth.”
Emerson — who admits he knew little about residence life when he became a faculty master — went through resident assistant training to better understand his role. Now, he spends a lot of time in his residential area, both in his office and among the students. He interacts with resident assistants and student government and makes himself available to mentor students, help with academic or personal issues, or to compliment students on their accomplishments.