Dr. Charles Robinson, a 1969 graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, recently was elected as secretary of the New York State Council of the Knights of Columbus at its 118th-annual convention in Tarrytown, N.Y.
The secretary is one of five state officers and serves the state deputy and the state council. He leads the council in the absence of the state deputy.
Robinson first joined the Knights in late 1967 in his hometown of Bellaire, where he attended St. John's grade and high schools. He has served as grand knight at councils in Ruston, La., and Norfolk, N.Y., and as district deputy and membership coordinator in upstate New York. He has brought a wealth of membership development expertise to the Knights based on his IEEE and other volunteer organizational experiences.
Robinson is the director of the Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology and the Shulman Professor of Rehabilitation Engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. He came to Clarkson in 2005 after six years at Louisiana Tech University. He retired from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at the end of 2011 after a 30-year distinguished career as a senior rehabilitation research career scientist with postings at the Hines, IIll, near Chicago, Pittsburgh, Shreveport and Syracuse VA Medical Centers. He is a commissioned lay minister in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in upstate New York. He and his wife, Kathy, also a commissioned lay minister and a SSJ Associate, reside in Norfolk, N.Y. Together, they have eight grown children and 11 grandchildren.
At the Franciscan University of Steubenville, Robinson was a Founder's Scholar. He was given the Engineering Department Award, the John F. Welsh Memorial Alumni Award, and in 1995, the Father Dan Egan Alumni Award for Excellence in Science or Medicine. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and a U.N.E.S.C.O. Academician.
The Knights of Columbus is a 126-year-old Catholic fraternal benefit organization that has grown to more than 14,000 local councils and 1.8 million members throughout the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Mexico, Poland, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Panama, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, Guatemala, Guam and Saipan. The New York State Council has 90,000 members.
The Knights was formed to render financial aid to members and their families. Mutual aid and assistance are offered to sick, disabled and needy members and their families. Social and intellectual fellowship is promoted among members and their families through educational, charitable, religious, social welfare, war relief and public relief works.