Somewhere between reading five newspapers, researching topics within the agricultural industry, grading homework assignments, reading roughly 100 emails and answering both his office phone and his cell, Dr. Tanner Robertson still finds time to not only teach but still be a husband and a father. Robertson said the hardest part of his job is turning it off.
“I love what I do and the industry I serve, so it is really just a part of me,” Robertson said. “However, there are times I just need to be a dad or a husband.”
Robertson’s role within the Agricultural Media and Communications department is: the only advisor, the only professor and the department head. Simply put, Robertson is a “one man show”.
“Dr. Robertson loves his students and has a passion for agriculture,” Summer Townsend, senior Agricultural Media and Communications major, said. “He inspired me to join the Ag Comm. program because agriculture sustains us and is ever changing along with the rest of the world. It is our job as agricultural communicators to be not only knowledgeable but also passionate about agriculture so that we can share it with the rest of the world.”
Within the Agricultural Communicators and Media department, Robertson oversees about fifty students. Despite the drastic adviser to student ratio, one would never know that he has forty plus other students that he is taking care of.
“When it comes to his job, he has a passion for his colleagues and most of all, his students,” Jayce Jane Renee Apsley, senior Agricultural Communications and Media major said. “Dr. Robertson gives you his best, all the time, for anything you need. He doesn’t forget that we are humans first and students second.”
With any job, there are both rewarding and challenging aspects. The same can be said for Robertson’s job.
“It is rewarding because you have contact with all majors – a chance to get to know all the students in the program on a personal level,” Robertson said. “However, the challenge is to find the time to serve everyone. I enjoy getting to work with other faculty to build a unique educational opportunity that serves our students in a way that is important to them, but also valuable to the industry.”
Like the other aspects within his job, Robertson’s work ethic in the class isn’t any different. He finds new and innovative ways to teach his students.
“Dr. Robertson is the type of professor who teaches his students using real world examples,” Kelby Koelder, junior Agricultural Media and Communications major, said. “The writing homework assignments that he assigns can be later submitted to be published in magazines and newspapers. As a professor, that’s what he pushes for. He sees every assignment as a way to build our personal portfolios. Dr. Robertson is constantly making a difference in my life.”