Robby is from Alpharetta, Georgia. For college, he studied Biochemistry at the University of Notre Dame. This year, he will be serving in Philadelphia at Our Mother of Sorrows/St. Ignatius School. He chose to become an AV in order to intentionally shift his focus away from himself and towards the service of others. He is excited to build relationships with students, teachers, and his community members and to navigate the great times and the challenging times with them.
I, Robby Gipson, commit myself to be an Augustinian Volunteer, to step outside of my comfort zone and gain a new perspective through service, intentional community, and spiritual growth.
Share one of your favorite quotes.
“To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
How did you develop a passion for service?
One of my favorite early memories of service is attending a family mission trip a few hours away from my home with my parents. As a kid, this was a fun experience with family and friends that also showed me the importance of compassionate service and exposed me to the inequalities present even in places close to my own home. The event that led me to discern a year of service was a week spent in Uganda during my senior year at Notre Dame. The things that I saw there and the encounters and conversations that I had with my peers, local students, and East African seminarians really challenged me to think about what I could do to stand in solidarity with and work for the good of others.
Name one of your favorite musical artists.
Florence + The Machine
What’s a favorite book of yours or a recent book you read?
Mistborn: The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
Share an issue you’re passionate about and why.
I am very passionate about the importance of science in policy decisions and the public’s perception of issues. I think that it is important for decision makers to follow the advice of scientific experts when shaping policy and public opinion about topics ranging from the environment to public health. While a certain degree of skepticism can be productive as a reason to do further research, I believe that more work should be done to advocate for the acceptance of scientific conclusions. I am particularly passionate about this topic because of my major in biochemistry and the current debates surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination, and the ever-worsening effects of climate change.
Best moment as an AV to date?
I really enjoyed exploring the area around our apartment as a community. We walked over the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, onto the Race Street Pier, and along the Delaware River. We even stopped for some Rita’s water ice.
What do you like most about living in your new city so far?
I’ve really enjoyed exploring Philly (to the extent possible during COVID-19). There are so many cool and historic places all within walking distance. I’ve also really enjoyed going for runs over the bridge, along the river, and through Independence Mall.
One word that describes your community-living experience is…