Discovering Purpose Through Leadership, Musicianship, and Scholarship
At Valpo, Emily Robinson ’17 has blossomed in countless ways — as a leader, collaborator, scholar, educator, musician, and motivator. Even though Emily may not know exactly where she’ll be after graduation, she is confident Valpo has prepared her for whatever career path she may choose.
From St. Louis, Emily toured more than 20 schools before eventually selecting Valpo. After visiting and being accepted into the Lutheran Leaders Intern and Scholarship program as well as Christ College — The Honors College, she knew Valpo would be her perfect home for the next four years.
“Valpo has definitely become my home,” Emily says.“It has become a home because I have created my own family here. Everything that is encompassed by a home is here, and you discover it along the way.”
Emily is a music major with a minor in business administration. With a concentration in music industry, she has taken courses in music careers and entrepreneurship, which will allow her to pursue a career in many areas, including recording, retailing, or arts management.
“I have been impressed by Emily since I first encountered her as a high school student attending Lutheran Summer Music,” says Jeffrey Doebler ’87 M.M., Ph.D., professor of music and director of music education and bands. “I was elated when she chose to attend Valparaiso University to pursue a major in our music industry program.”
Since arriving at Valpo, Emily has actively engaged in campus life. She cites Christ College, Lutheran Leaders, and Chamber Concert Band as being the cornerstones of her Valpo experience.
The transition into college life is often full of challenges. “I grappled with finding balance,” Emily says. “Valpo has taught me the importance of balancing schoolwork, extracurriculars, and friends, as well as taking care of my physical and spiritual self.”
Emily has successfully balanced the challenges of being a Christ College honors student as well as a band member with the rigorous duties required of a Lutheran Leader. Emily’s engagement on campus doesn’t end there, as she is also head usher in the Center for the Arts and a member of Sigma Alpha Iota.
As part of an exclusive group of nine students, Emily meets weekly with Lutheran Leaders to discuss leadership and plan a leadership retreat. Gaining work experience through internship is an essential aspect of Lutheran Leaders. Emily has secured an internship every semester and summer, the most recent being with the St. Louis Symphony.
Through the symphony, Emily has gained valuable experience in everything from auditioning to programming. Currently, her work with the symphony focuses on the creation of a family and education concert, which is slated to be sent to the publisher shortly and eventually captured on stage. Her role at the symphony has enabled her to explore her passion for music, develop creatively, and connect with people through music.
“I love symphonic music, and through this internship, I have uncovered an additional passion for education,” Emily says. “I seek to create performances that speak to each audience member, teaching them something new about themselves and leaving them individually fulfilled. If I can do that, I consider it my personal success.”
As a Christ College student, Emily finds herself constantly challenged and motivated to meet the high expectations permeating the honors environment. She is more aware of the world around her, continually explores her life’s purpose, and has developed extensive critical thinking and writing skills.
“I discovered I possess a need to be in a constant state of learning and developing,” says Emily. “I may not know where my career will take me, but Valpo has helped me question my passions and strengthened my commitment to the intersection of faith and scholarly work.”
Emily was selected as a member of Chamber Concert Band, Valpo’s most advanced band, her freshman year, where she is afforded the opportunity to play the music she loves within a unique community. She has made a significant contribution to the University in notable performances throughout the year, including Easter worship, Christmas Concerts, and Commencement ceremonies. Further, she has been part of living music in playing new works of visiting composers.
Exhibiting a strong commitment to music education, the Chamber Concert Band collaborates with Valpo High School musicians in an annual winter concert. This initiative has highlighted Emily’s strength as a mentor and educator of young musicians. Her impact extends across the University, serving as the stage manager for the majority of campus performances.
“Emily is a wonderful person and musician. She is an ideal fit for Valparaiso University, and it is an honor to work with her,” Professor Doebler says. “She has been an important contributor through her three years of college, and I look forward to what’s to come in her senior year.”