Asiyah Robinson

Asiyah Robinson, UVic student
Coming to UVic as an international student from the Bahamas, Asiyah (left) discovered her home away from home in the tight-knit community on campus.

Big thinker. Community builder. Making a difference with 15 campus organizations.

Program: Biochemistry and Chemistry 
Hometown: Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas   

Whether she’s researching molecules with her classmates in the chemistry lab, leading new students on a campus tour, or building connections with members of the Muslim Students Association, Asiyah feels a sense of belonging in all corners of campus.

What inspires you to create community for others?

When I came to Victoria, I knew literally no one. I didn’t know the place, the people or the culture. And I didn’t know how to go about that first step, so I spent my first year alone. I refused to let my second year be like my first, which prompted me to start creating community for myself and get involved. Orientation was the first thing I ever volunteered for. I just wanted a hand in making everyone to feel welcome, like they had a place at UVic. Being involved in Orientation simply opened the flood-gates and I found myself involved in everything.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My being proud has more to do with the number of people’s lives I’ve made a difference to than a single accomplishment. It's about the number of international students who feel supported at UVic. It's about the number of students who feel secure and comfortable opening up and sharing their experiences, knowing they’re on a campus that hears them. It’s about my friends who know I’m always around to help them in their personal and professional lives. I don't think I've reached all of these hearts and minds alone, but I had a hand in it, and that is my greatest accomplishment.

What is the most important thing you've learned while at UVic?

To me, it’s such an amazing thing that UVic puts so much importance on students' mental health. I have learned that ensuring my mental, physical and emotional health is just as, if not more important than, the academic goals I’m trying to reach. 

UVic has, more than anything, taught me to dream and think big. UVic taught me not to be afraid to dream, because I have the capability to do anything if I set my mind to it.

How would you describe UVic to future students?

I would tell them that I think the University of Victoria was the perfect fit for me. That the professors opened me up to a subject that I had no idea I had so much passion for. I would tell them that I have made the most amazing friends, and that I know I'll have these people in my life for the rest of my life. I would tell them that UVic is the place where I grew up and learned about myself. It’s the place that enhanced the strength I had within me all along, and where I recognized my potential. I would tell them that it is my second home.