Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Leadership lived: UIS student trustee plans future career in public service

Edwin Robles has always been interested in politics and hopes to one day run for office. At the University of Illinois Springfield, he was elected by the student body to serve as their voice on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.

As the student trustee, Robles has a seat at the table at all of the board of trustees meetings. He regularly travels to the other U of I System campuses for meetings and helps cast the student vote on important issues.

“On the board, I represent UIS students at the university-level,” he said. “I try to make sure the university is making wise decisions, not only on the university-level, but for UIS students as well.”

At UIS, Robles is a political science and public policy major. He founded the UIS Football Club, a club soccer team which travels to play other colleges and universities. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and previously served as vice president for alumni relations. He has traveled with Model United Nations to New York City twice to participate in the annual simulation and will participate for a third time this spring.

“UIS has taught me a lot about leadership,” he said. “It has given me the insight on what it means to be a leader and a good leader. Often you have to put in a lot of work, sometimes a lot more than others, but it’s alright because at the end of the day the outcomes are worth it.”

As an elected student leader, Robles wants UIS students to know he’s here to listen to issues that students might be facing. He has an office on campus where students can come by and speak to him about issues that are important to them.

“The reason I decided to run for office was because I really cared about the university, I really cared about UIS students,” he said. “I wanted to make sure the community was growing and that students had leadership that cared about them.”

Following graduation from UIS, Robles wants to join the United States Navy as an officer. He plans to earn his master’s degree in political science and eventually a Ph.D.

“I do want to run for office,” he said. “That’s one of the things that I do want to do in the future and making sure I can be a public servant for the people.”

Robles encourages prospective students to consider UIS because of the right-sized supportive community and the abundance of opportunities for students.

“The community here is amazing,” he said. “Everyone kind of knows each other and at the end of the day, I’m really glad to call myself a Prairie Star.”

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