Erin Robinson, PhD, Receives Distinguished Faculty Award

May 11, 2021


Buffalo, NY – The Canisius College Alumni Association conferred its Kenneth L. Koessler Distinguished Faculty Award upon Erin Robinson, PhD, professor of sociology and environmental studies. Presented annually, this award recognizes a faculty member for teaching excellence and outstanding contributions to the academic world.  

Robinson has used her expertise in environmental sociology and the study of social movements to grow Canisius College’s environmental studies program and organized impactful change in the local community.  Students foster thought-provoking conversations through her courses and are encouraged to observe, experience and reflect on the potential for social transformation. 

In addition to the change she sparks in the classroom, Robinson has the same effect in the community. With the support of a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) INSPIRE Award, she conducted a project, titled “Advancing Groundwater Restoration Through Analysis: What Practitioners and Stakeholders Care About and Why It Matters.” Another of Robinson’s initiatives examined air quality among residents living in and around the Tonawanda Coke Plant and other industrial facilities. With assistance from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) and Canisius undergraduate research students, she redeveloped a Buffalo urban setting into a sustainable community garden. 

Robinson received a PhD in sociology from SUNY at Buffalo, an MA in sociology from the University of Tennessee and a BA from SUNY at Geneseo. Some of her past accolades include Sociological Spectrum’s Article of the Year award, a Western New York Service Learning Coalition Grant and numerous publications. Robinson was elected to the Board of Directors for the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York, where she eventually served as president. 

One of 27 Jesuit universities in the nation, Canisius is the premier private university in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, their communities and their service to humanity.