Editor’s Note: In celebration of the 150th anniversary of our designation as the land grant institution in New Jersey, alumni are invited to tell their own Rutgers “story.” Mark Gregory Robson holds four Rutgers degrees – a B.S. (1977) in Agricultural Science from Cook College, a master’s (1979) and Ph.D. (1988) in Plant Science from the Graduate School-New Brunswick, and an M.P.H. (1995) in Environmental and Occupational Health from the School of Public Health. Here is his story, in his own words.
I like to joke that my mother dropped me off in 1973, and I am still waiting for her to come back. Actually, it was my Aunt Leah and Uncle Frank who dropped me off, and I am still here – 42 years, four degrees, three jobs, and one wife later.
My first exposure to Rutgers came as a kid at home on the farm. Robson’s Farm was a typical small family farm with 35 dairy cows, 3,000 laying hens and about 140 acres of vegetables and field crops. Our county agents were regular visitors to our farm. My brother, sister, and I all became members of the Meadow Clippers 4-H Dairy Club. Through 4-H, I started going to functions on the Cook Campus, State 4-H camp and other parts of Rutgers. All of this exposed me to the Rutgers College of Agriculture and Environmental Science (CAES).
I applied to Rutgers in 1972 and came as a freshman in 1973 at the newly formed Cook College. I ended up living on campus in Helyar House, due to the influence of my neighbors, the Hlubiks. All six Hlubik brothers went to Rutgers, and all were part of the Cooperative Living Group, Helyar House or its predecessors: Patrick, Michael, Gerard, Raymond, Joseph, and William. Joe was my classmate, Joe went to Michigan for his Ph.D. and then went to Penn State as a faculty member. Later Joe became a Catholic priest and is now the pastor of St. Andrew’s parish near my home. Bill, the youngest brother, is the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Middlesex County Agriculture and Resource Management Agent. [Read more...]