1984 Valedictorian: Robin Barber

Three things drew Robin Barber to attend Ohlone.  First it was close to home.  Second, his mother, Iola, was a biology professor at the college.  Third, his goal was to attend UC Berkeley and he believed Ohlone provided the “perfect preparatory step” toward reaching that goal.

Robin looks back fondly at his time at Ohlone.  He feels it was a great educational and personal experience that prepared him well for success at UC Berkeley and graduate school at San Diego State University.  He sees it as a foundational experience that prepared him well for life.

Robin tells us, “One very positive aspect was interacting with a very diverse student population.  There were many friends carried over from high school but the opportunity for making friends and acquaintances with the many international and deaf students made for an edifying a truly enriching experience.  I had the opportunity to tutor several semesters in the Math Lab and I found that one of the most rewarding experiences during my time at Ohlone.

Robin says he received a great deal of support from the faculty and staff at the college.  He credits his counselor, Tom McMahon, for being meticulous at making sure he completed all the classes required by UC Berkeley.  He further states, “The instructors also were always available to help and always generous with their time.  I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive learning environment.”

Robing graduated UC Berkeley with a degree in geology and received a Master’s in Geology from San Diego State University.  After graduate school, he worked at a few environmental consulting firms here in the Bay Area.  In San Diego, he worked as a botanist and biologist for a couple of seasons.  He worked at the San Diego Zoo as a visitor assistant officer and then worked 13 years in IT at the UC San Diego Medical Center computer help desk.  Currently, he is back in Fremont starting a new career as a landscape painter.

Regarding his educational experiences Robin states, “For me, a college education was not only about getting a job; it was about acquiring the tools to lead an interesting and productive life.  My various jobs have been valuable learning experiences and important for paying the bills, but the well-rounded education prepared me for a career following my dreams.”