Minority Affairs director stepping down in March

Robert L. Owens II will be stepping down as Tech’s Minority Affairs director. Owens has been a stable entity in the Black Cultural Center for the past five years.

He has implemented several programs and revolutionized many others. Some of those programs include the Summer Scholars Program (a bridge program for underrepresented students), a tutoring program, the Hall of Distinguished Achievers, and a scholarship endowment on the verge of being launched.

Although implementing new programs is considered an accomplishment, Owens said he believes his greatest accomplishment is having the ability to make an impact on the lives of minority students.

“I know that I’ve touched some students’ lives,” Owens said. “I haven’t touched everybody, every life I’ve wanted to, but I know I’ve touched some lives.”

One student in particular, Larissa Gregory, had her personal and professional life touched by him.

“He was really the person that initially got me involved,” Gregory said. “He encouraged me to get involved with being an ambassador, being a part of the mentor program. And that’s how I really got to know Dr. Rob and to really see how much he wanted to help students.”

In addition to being director, Owens serves as an advisor for several minority student organizations and as chaplain for the men’s basketball team. He teaches courses for the Education Department and helps with recruiting through the Admissions Office.

Corinne Johnson, Minority Affairs secretary, shares these words of advice for the next director.

“Just be present. Have a presence in many areas of the campus, but especially here in the Black Cultural Center, not just for Afro-American students, but for anyone who walks through the door.”

Owens has accepted the position of Associate Pastor at Church on the Hill in Algood, Tenn., and although he will no longer be employed in the BCC, he would like students to know he’ll still be around.

When asked how he would like to be remembered, Owens said he’d like to be remembered as somebody that loves students and someone who perseveres despite mistakes made along the way.

February will be his last month as director.