COLUMBUS, Miss.-- Robert Perkins sees every day as an opportunity to serve.
It may mean Perkins has to fix a stuck closet door or a stubborn doorknob or he may be asked to assist a colleague with research for their graduate program. Regardless of the task, Perkins views each one as a chance to make Mississippi University for Women a better place.
“I win every day knowing I helped and provided students resources to be successful in their future endeavors,” Perkins said.
Perkins’ attitude recently earned him recognition as the Owl Star of the Year. The award recognizes professionalism and dedication and someone who works to improve service and the image of his/her department, among other things.
“It is an honor to win the Owl Star of the Year,” said Perkins, who is residence director for Housing & Residence Life. “It truly shows no work an individual performs goes unnoticed.”
Perkins, who was born and raised in Leland, earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from The W in 2015. He is pursuing his master’s degree in business administration. Perkins has worked at The W for nearly three and a half years. He is responsible for planning, organizing and directing community development, staffing functions, judicial processes and promoting the safety and welfare of all residents and individuals.
Perkins said all of the energy and work he does is for the students. He said the services he provides to students were all passed on to him and that he hopes his work plays a key role in the educational, social and personal growth of students.
Alonzo Bouldin, the assistant director for Housing and Residential Life at The W, said the work Perkins does for the university is immeasurable.
“His efforts to mentor and grow young student leaders extends well beyond just his student staff,” Bouldin said. “He provides students with resources on campus and off. Robert often put in hours outside of the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to be the first line of support for an entire campus of students. He is there for them in times of crisis as well as in time of celebration. For those reasons, I am grateful to work with him, and The W is better because of staff like Robert.”
Brianna Braddock, who is The W’s coordinator of housing operations, said she strives to emulate Perkins in many ways, including work ethic. She said he has “stepped up” and taken on most of his former colleague’s duty for north campus, which reflects his willingness to help and assist students in any way.
“He has motivated and encouraged me to pursue my graduate degree,” Braddock said. “Although we are in a different program, Robert makes sure I’m staying on top of things. He’s a great accountability partner. He helped and encouraged his classmates in his current program to finish the semester strong. Those are all excellent qualities that make him an outstanding employee, friend and person. He is genuine in his gestures, and his intentions are pure. He is a great asset to our department.”
Shakia Butler, who is a residence adviser at The W, said Perkins has excelled in a variety of roles and has helped her immensely in executing her duties.
“He is an outstanding boss. He serves the student body and his peers selflessly and well,” Butler said. “There have been many days as a RA when I felt like panicking because situations arose I never imagined. But his guidance and patience ultimately caused me to think rationally and execute the task at hand.
“He has been a teacher, a counselor and even a friend. He does all these amazing acts around campus while pursuing his education. He embodies the attributes of outstanding character, and I have learned so much from being under his wing. If there is anyone deserving of this honor it is Mr. Perkins. He is an all-around amazing person.”
Kendashia Smith, who works for Perkins as an RA for south campus, echoed Butler’s comments. She said Perkins is the first person she calls when she has a question she can’t answer.
“He is such a great supervisor because I genuinely feel like he cares for every student on this campus,” Smith said. “He also cares about our professional development. He mentors us through resume building and interview skills. He reviews our work and gives advice on how to improve. His leadership skills make our team dynamic work so well in that we never feel alone. Working with Rob has been such an amazing experience. I think about the attributes of a mighty owl when I think of him. There is no one more deserving of this award.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 22, 2020
Contact: Adam Minichino