Trinity College is blessed with incredible professors who mentor and grow students across all disciplines. Get to know Dr. Tim Robinson, associate professor of psychology and chair of that department, who has taught at Trinity since 1988 and is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Dr. Tim Robinson, Department Chair and Associate Professor of Psychology
Q. What makes you passionate about your field of study?
A. Discovering how people relate to each other and what makes them tick. What’s important to people? How do they communicate? What leads them to be motivated for goals in life? Those questions are always interesting to me.
Q. What was your college experience?
A. I have three degrees from Western Michigan University and one from TEDS. I got my bachelor’s degree at Western and worked for a couple years in youth ministry with Youth for Christ before getting a master’s degree from the TEDS counseling program.
Next I went back to Western Michigan for another master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. My major was Communication, and a minor in Psychology, Sociology, Education. I also completed a doctoral program degree in Counseling Psychology there.
Q. What misconception about psychology would you like to correct?
A. People sometimes think psychology is there to manipulate them. If we have a better understanding of people, can we use that to exploit them? Well, I suppose. But what if can we use it to help them see their lives better and more clearly, and to increase the efficiency of our processes? That makes sense to me.
There’s the idea that “if you know what’s going on and I don’t, then you must be manipulating me.” That’s an unfortunate misconception. And of course, the media commonly characterize psychology folks with caricature mentalities, which doesn’t help.
“The atmosphere and freedom we have here at Trinity in terms of pursuing integration of faith, learning, and thinking is a highlight.”
Q. What are some highlights of teaching at Trinity?
A. Encountering students as freshmen and seeing their growth. Watching students I’ve been working with for two to five years cross the stage and graduate is a highlight. To see the impact of our program come to fruition is great. I think, “Wow, they’ve really matured. They’ve grown and they really have a better awareness of themselves,” as opposed to just, “they know more about psychology now.”
Also, the atmosphere and freedom that we have here at Trinity in terms of pursuing integration of faith, learning, and thinking. Colleagues I work with have a similar perspective on that, even if they’re coming from different fields. So I never feel constrained or restricted because we all have a goal. We’re all moving toward something similar for our students in our profession. That’s a joy.
Q. What can you most commonly be found doing when you’re not working as a professor?
A. I like to watch sporting events. Trinity events, as well as other college or professional sports. I’m a transplant from Michigan, where I was a Tiger fan. I still am one, but I also enjoy the Cubs. I haven’t really embraced other Chicago teams like White Sox, Blackhawks, and Bears. I’ve coached basketball and soccer club teams for my son when he was in high school and have been involved in community sports.
I also enjoy hiking and nature. I do a really cool class every other year in the May term. It’s a stress management course, and it includes a week down in Tennessee hiking in the Smoky Mountains!
Q. What is your family like? Do you have any pets?
A. I’m married and have four children. Three of them graduated from Trinity, and my wife is a adult education Trinity graduate. One of my sons met his wife at Trinity.
I’ve gotten my wife and all of my four children in a class of mine here at some point too, which has been fun! Over the years, we’ve had several cats and a couple of dogs.