Resolution in Memoriam: Dr. Nina Roberts

Resolution Number: RS22-430
May, 2022
Whereas: 
RATIONALE: The Academic Senate is an inclusive community and recognizes significant leadership and long standing service by faculty, staff, students and administrators. When a long-term member passes away, it is important to provide a moment of recognition for their altruistic contributions in the form of an in-memoriam resolution.
Whereas: 
the Academic Senate is comprised of members who donate their time, service, and energy to the campus community; and
Whereas: 
the passing of a long-term community member affects us deeply; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Nina Roberts was a graduate of the Bridgewater State College Physical Education and University of Maryland Outdoor Recreation & Resources Management programs, held a Ph.D. in Recreation Resource Management from Colorado State University, and completed the Indo-American Environmental Leadership Program in India as a Fulbright Scholar; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts joined San Francisco State University in 2005 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010, tenured in 2011, and promoted to Professor in 2014; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts is remembered as an energetic and dynamic teacher, strong organizer and leader, and supportive voice for the community she served; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts was the national coordinator and the driving force behind 1997 Take Back the Trails initiative organized by the Association for Experiential Education Women’s Professional Group in remembrance of Julie Williams and Lollie Winans and other women victimized in the outdoors. The Take Back the Trails initiative brought attention to a problem many people never thought existed and provided a forum for others who had been harassed and violated while doing the outdoors to come forward and tell their stories in addition to bringing attention to the vicious murders of Julie and Lollie; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts was designated by the Association for Experiential Education Board of Directors in 2007 to present the Kurt Hahn Address (now the Ewald and Hahn Address) in honor of her contributions to the development and advancement of experiential education with the tenacity and conviction exemplified by Marina Ewald and Kurt Hahn; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts developed an enduring partnership with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and was one of the founders of the GGNPC’s academic internships: “Over the past decade, she helped us dream it up, make it a reality, and develop it into one of our core programs. She was a champion for our parks and programs, particularly for our youth programs, and she was a fierce advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion in our public spaces. Nina was a force of nature – passionate, fearless, funny, and her energy and love were infectious”; and
Whereas: 
Given her extraordinary civic engagement, service to the community, and leadership, Dr. Nina Roberts was appointed the Faculty Director of the Institute for Civic and Community Engagement in 2016; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts joined DUEAP as the Faculty Director of Community Engaged Scholarship and Learning in ICCE in 2016. During her time in that role she supported faculty in developing and improving service learning courses and created the ICCE Faculty Handbook as a resource for faculty who want to engage in service learning; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts was a strong advocate for strengthening and recognizing faculty research that involved community partners and was working on reviewing how different departments incentivize and reward community engaged scholarship through the retention, tenure and promotion process; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Nina Roberts “was committed to parks and environmental justice through the lens of cultural humility.” She had worked on numerous community service-learning projects, including Give Back, and developed a class, RPT 640: Recreation Use of Parks and Protected Areas, that emphasizes the importance of bringing people together through community-based experiences to protect parks and open spaces – to protect our communities; and
Whereas: 
One colleague said, “Dr. Nina Roberts was a powerful force, always promoting opportunities for women in the outdoors with a particular passion for women of color.” Another said, “Dr. Nina Roberts was a force of nature and a JEDI warrior”; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts led by example and challenged her students to be the best versions of themselves, both in the classroom and in the community; she was dedicated to helping her students succeed and continued to provide professional support beyond the classroom with enthusiasm and genuine interest. She was a role model, mentor, adviser, and an all-around rock star!; and
Whereas: 
One student said of Dr. Roberts, “she was the most incredible professor and mentor. Her contagious enthusiasm for outdoor recreation and increasing opportunities for women, girls, and people of color to experience the outdoors were inspiring to us all. I am immensely honored and grateful to have known Dr. Nina Roberts; her wisdom and support will continue to guide me in all future endeavors"; and
Whereas: 
One colleague said, “Dr. Nina changed the lives of countless people through her social justice badassery”; and
Whereas: 
“One of Dr. Nina Roberts’ last achievements and gifts to San Francisco, was guiding the India Basin Waterfront Park Project's landmark Equitable Development Plan, a first for San Francisco. She offered academic support and guidance throughout the document's development and functioned as our “North Star” of equitable park planning. She infused this plan with her enthusiasm for learning and teaching, her passion for parks, and her commitment to social justice”; and
Whereas: 
One colleague said of Dr. Roberts, “her dedication to her students and her profession were amazing, she especially was dedicated to increasing the diversity of park visitors.” Another shared, “Let’s keep teaching the truth and ‘color’ the parks fantastic as she would”; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts passed on March 28, 2022 surrounded by family, friends, and love; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts said, “the world needs more compassion, kindness, and love. And we must never forget to challenge, question, and stay curious. The power to question is the basis of human progress (Indira Ghandi)”; and
Whereas: 
Dr. Roberts called us to “get outside, visit a local park, and reflect on nature’s beauty and how we can increase access to our parks”; and therefore be it
Resolved: 
the 2021-22 Academic Senate recognize and thank Dr. Nina Roberts in memoriam for a life of commitment to our students, University, and community; and be it further
Resolved: 
that the 2021-22 Academic Senate bow our heads in a moment of silence in her memory and all those in our campus community who we’ve lost this academic year.