Lillian Robbins, Active Faculty, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, died on September 13, 2009. Professor Emerita Robbins was a member of the Psychology Department on the Newark Campus.
Lillian began her professorial career in the Psychology Department at Rutgers in 1971. She remained there for the next 37 years.
Lillian taught a variety of courses that were important to her and her students – Psychology of Women, Adulthood and Aging, Relationships across the Life Span, and more recently she organized a new Laboratory course in Social Psychology because our students needed such a course. She is the only Rutgers faculty member in the history of the Newark Campus to have ever won the two separate “Teacher of the Year” awards, one given for daytime faculty and one for those who teach in the evenings. I know she was proud of this distinction.
Lillian ran the College Honors Program for 17 years. Admission into many such programs depends on rigid criteria, especially in terms of Grade Point Average. Lillian was more flexible than that because she knew that there were some very bright, very creative students who did not have the highest GPAs. She gave them a chance to shine, a chance they never would have had, and shine they did.
When it came to topics such as workplace health and safety, gender equity, sex discrimination, affirmative action, and education of undergraduates, I would say that Lillian really did not yell or scream, curse or jump up and down, but she was passionate and persistent. When it came to these issues for which she felt so strongly, I would say she was “subtlety ferocious.”
At the College and University levels, Lillian was involved in an array of activities, from Appointments and Promotions to AAUP, to Health and Safety issues, to Phi Beta Kappa, again serving on a multitude of committees to
keep the place moving. And Lillian’s service extended beyond the
confines of Rutgers to ETS, NOW, the Anti-Defamation League, the Ford Foundation and the NJ legislature.
Her contributions to our Psychology Department were enormous. Lillian ran the graduate program in Life Span Studies and served on a number of planning
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