ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY
Robin Tipton, an Assistant Professor of Chemistry whose office is in Tredway Hall, is evidence that personal contact works when it comes to college recruitment.
Robin, a 1998 graduate of Tusculum College, first learned of Tusculum College through a college fair in New Jersey, her native state, while she was still in high school. When she got her hands on some brochures and saw the appearance of the campus, her interest was further piqued.
As luck or destiny would have it, Robin had an uncle living in Tazewell, Virginia, close enough to Tusculum to be a home base for a campus visit. Robin came to campus and learned about the block schedule, and noticed that the campus was in view of some beautiful mountains. That mattered to Robin, a lover of nature and outdoor activities with an interest in environmental science. She also liked the fact that Tusculum College was a small institution compared to many other universities and colleges.
Tusculum changed Robin's life. At Tusculum, she met Steve Tipton '97, who would become her husband. At Tusculum she was influenced strongly by two professors, Ron Conley and Dan Barnett, who provided guidance and encouragement that led Robin to Western Carolina University for graduate studies after she earned her Tusculum undergraduate degree in environmental science. Earning a master's degree in chemistry, she went to work for BASF for about a year, until the death of her sister made her decide to move closer to loved ones in Tennessee.
Dan Barnett again crossed the path of her life and helped her land a job at Greene County's Cedar Creek Learning Center, where she worked three years until taking a position at Tusculum. She has remained ever since.
She teaches General Chemistry I and II, Organic Chemistry I and II, environmental science, and expects to teach biochemistry. During the summer she helped Upward Bound students with chemistry studies.
Robin and Steve are now the parents of two sons. Robin's busy life as an educator, scientist and mother perhaps accounts for her characterization of herself as someone who "likes to start things, but doesn't always finish."
(Note: Thanks to Cassie Burchnell, a 2008 Upward Bound student and daughter of Don and Lillian Burchnell, for interviewing Professor Tipton and writing the first draft of this profile.)
Robin lists her interests as including reading (as long as it isn't sci-fi or fantasy), plus hiking and crafts such as soap-making, knitting and scrapbooking.