Students and faculty reminisce

A memorial gathering will be held Saturday for Gannon University psychology professor Robin Powers, Ph.D., who died Sept. 24.

The celebration of Powers’ life will be held at 3 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 Perry Highway.

Powers taught at Gannon from 1998-2013 and was a well-known figure on campus.

Lori Lindley, Ph.D., chairman of the psychology department, said death in a tight-knit community, such as Gannon, can touch everyone in a different way.

“At a place like Gannon, where students and faculty work closely with one another, it can have a profound effect,” Lindley said. “All the faculty feel the loss of an important colleague and will miss her contributions.”

In 2008, Powers was awarded a Faculty Development Grant by Gannon to attend the Personality Assessment System Conference as a member of the Board of Trustees. Powers was also awarded a $1,400 grant in 2006 to present a poster session at National Institute on the Teaching of Psychology in Florida.

Luke Rosielle, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the psychology department, said his friend and colleague of eight years – Powers – got a lot of satisfaction out of advising and loved to see her students succeed.

“She was constantly asking me for updates about students after they graduated and loved to hear about what they were doing post-graduation,” Rosielle said.

Powers received a Bachelor of Psychology, Master of General Experimental Psychology and a Doctorate of Counseling post-graduation,” Rosielle said.

Powers received a Bachelor of Psychology, Master of General Experimental Psychology and a Doctorate of Counseling Psychology.

Powers taught at numerous colleges, including  the University of Tennessee at Martin, State University of Georgia, University of Oklahoma and University of Missouri Columbia.

Powers was a licensed psychologist in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania. From 1983-1995, Powers worked at a private practice as a counseling psychologist.

Outside of teaching at Gannon, Powers also did a lot of community service. She volunteered weekly at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center was a former member of the board of directors for the Whole Food Co-op, helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity and volunteered weekly at the Humane Society.

Jenna Dunning, a senior psychology major, said that she met Powers at a party.

“Dr. Powers always graciously allowed psychology students and faculty to her home for an annual Christmas party,” Dunning said.

Students feel the loss of a teacher and mentor who made an impact on their personal and professional development, Lindley said.

Powers will be truly missed by the Gannon community and by all of those she positively impacted, Taylor Blaetz, a 2011 Gannon graduate, said.

Blaetz said Powers was her adviser for four years at Gannon, through which they developed a great collegiate relationship.

Powers was incredibly helpful, and was always willing to talk, Blaetz said.

“Almost every week, we would sit in Dr. Powers office, eat candy and just talk about school, post-undergraduate options and life,” Blaetz said.

Alexandra Mihai, a junior psychology major and theatre and theology minor, said that she would stop by Powers’ office frequently just to talk.

“She was a passionate person,” Mihai said. “She loved what she did, especially getting to know her students on a more personal level.”


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