Photo: Valdosta State University recently honored Robin Walker McCord with the 2022 College of Nursing and Health Sciences Distinguished Alumna Award; pictured with Dr. Richard A. Carvajal, president of VSU, and Dr. James C. Pace, dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences at VSU.
VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University honors Robin Walker McCord with the 2022 College of Nursing and Health Sciences Distinguished Alumna Award.
Valdosta State University recently honored Robin Walker McCord with the 2022 College of Nursing and Health Sciences Distinguished Alumna Award.
“This honor has inspired me to continue setting goals for myself,” she said. “There is always more to learn, more experiences to be had, and more people to serve. It’s very humbling because I know I still have so much more left to offer. I’m especially honored to receive this award as a representative of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. I have always been very proud of my education and the institution that set me on my career path. I’m more inspired than ever to continue representing VSU well.”
McCord has advocated for physical activity and wellness programs for more than two decades. She currently serves as manager of Phoebe Putney Health System’s first Oncology Wellness Program. She spends her days at the Phoebe Cancer Center in Albany, Georgia, offering innovative and evidence-based programming — wellness activities, support groups, prevention and screening initiatives, rehabilitation services, and more — essential for people affected by cancer.
McCord was instrumental in implementing a physician referral and corporate wellness program for Colquitt Regional Medical Center in Moultrie, Georgia, and an elementary afternoon sports and aquatics safety program for the Colquitt County School System. She has also overseen pilot programs for YMCA of the USA.
The knowledge McCord has gained through her pursuit of health, fitness, and specialty wellness certifications has contributed to the wellbeing of countless individuals, both children and adults. Her commitment to serving older Georgians earned her the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services Arnisha Norman Award.
McCord lives in Moultrie and attends Heritage Church. Her husband, Sam, who earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from VSU in 1990, is the assistant scout executive for the South Georgia Council of Boy Scouts of America, which, she said, “affords me many opportunities to volunteer and support him in this role.” This includes serving as the lead instructor for the Physical Fitness Merit Badge.
The McCord family includes a second generation of VSU alumni, with the possibility of a third in the future. Their son, Austin, followed in his mom’s footsteps and earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology in December 2021. He is currently in basic training with the United States Army and will enter officer training school in December.
“We also have two daughters, Taylor and Emily,” McCord said. “Taylor blessed us with our first grandchild in January 2022, and we are thoroughly enjoying our new role as grandparents. Our youngest, Emily, will graduate from VSU with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and a Minor in Human Resources in December. Maya, our adorable shepherd-huskie mix, keeps us on our toes and is the actual ruler of our household.”
McCord is a professional natural bodybuilder and judge. She spends much of her free time preparing and training for competitions, coaching other athletes to compete, and judging bodybuilding shows.
McCord earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology in 1999.
Q: What are some highlights from your Valdosta State experience?
A: I have such fond memories of my time at Valdosta State, but the most significant highlight is that of my professors. Dr. Mark Kasper and Dr. LaGary Carter, who are still both with the university today, made such an impact on me. They were extremely passionate about the field of exercise physiology and made sure their students were more than prepared to enter the workforce. From organizing study groups, to running 5Ks together, these professors went above and beyond their teaching duties. Learning was so enjoyable but still very challenging. I owe so much to them for igniting the same passion in me for this field and for helping others. I’ve been fortunate enough to maintain that relationship with them over the last 24-plus years, and even to this day, I still can call on either of them for career advice and guidance.
Q: What advice do you have for current Valdosta State students? What do you wish someone had told you when you were in college?
A: The best advice I can give is to get to know your professors and other students in your cohort or major. These relationships will serve you well beyond college. There have been many times I learned of a job opportunity through a professor or another fellow graduate. I’ve also been able to share the same information with them when I’ve needed interns or staff for various positions. We all look out for each other, even years later.
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