Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Hoops and Books
Ask neuroscientist Julio Ramirez to describe his postgraduate research assistant in one word, and he'll say "unflappable." Ask Head Women's Basketball Coach Annette Watts to describe her MVP from the last two seasons in one word, and she'll say "unique."
Zeroing in on the Brain
Robinson took first-year psychology courses while exploring the whole range of the liberal arts education. Then she took a neuroscience course with Ramirez, and soon began to focus her academic pursuits. "I can't believe what I was able to do in the lab as an undergraduate-brain surgery on rats!" She got a National Institute of Mental Health Research Grant that supported work last summer and 2009-10 as a postgraduate lab technician for Ramirez's work in brain function and Alzheimer's disease.
Being the First
"I am very close to my mother, and my sister is my biggest fan," says Robinson, who is the first in her extended family to graduate from college. "I've been given opportunities that people in my family so far haven't had."
At Home on the Court
Robinson received the college's highest honor for a woman athlete, the Rebecca Stimson Award, for her outstanding career with the women's basketball team. She led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding in her junior and senior years, led the Southern Conference in her senior season, and became Davidson's seventh all-time scorer with 1,115 points.
Hoops and Books
Combining academics with NCAA Division I athletics forced her to "buckle down." It's not easy, but you can get it all done and still have fun, Robinson says. But maybe the biggest lesson she learned from D-I athletics was this: you're not always going to get what you want. "We lost some games we should have won. That is going to happen. But it's how you respond to those disappointments that shows who you are." While she sees brain surgery on humans in her future, there may be a stint of pro basketball overseas before medical school. "I miss it," she says of the game. "But this year, I can work out with the team here on campus and be of some help to the girls."