Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 22, 2017

Robbins, Ty

Ty Robbins, Assistant Professor of Economics 

Robbins Finds Opportunities for Success at MU

Sha'Kera King

Faculty license plates come from a variety of states. And one of the newest is from California.

Before he came to Manchester to teach economics, Assistant Professor Ty Robbins was an instructor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, the University of California Santa Barbara State Channel Islands and Pepperdine University. He was educated in California as well, receiving his MA in math and economics from the University of California San Diego.

Indeed, Robbins has made a career at school. “I loved teaching during two years of my undergrad,” he said. “I tutored first and second graders, so then I knew I loved it. I love to inspire students and Manchester gave me the opportunity to do what I love.”

Robbins has a wife and a three-year-old daughter who accept and support him with being a professor. And that’s important, because living in Noblesville, Ind., means he must drive at least 90 miles to get to work. “Sometimes it can be tough because I don’t get to spend as much time as I want to with my wife and my daughter,” he explained.

He’s had a supportive system behind him since he was young. Both his father and his grandmother always pushed him to be the best man he could be. “They convinced me that having an ability is a gift and to take advantage of it,” he said. Robbins continues to use this ability to help others become their best self.

Going through life, he considers himself as “a glass-half-full kind of guy” and he loves “positivity.” He always sees the bright side of things and tries to find the best result to a problem. He also has a quirky take on athletics. “You can ask any of my students: I love to root for bad sport teams,” he said.

Outside of the workplace, he likes to take trips to all kinds of places with his family. “Being an environmentalist, I love to hike a lot,” he said. “I have been to 18 national parks and 10 state parks in the past 10 years.”  

He’s also put careful thought into being an environmentalist. "Environmentalists can’t tell people to protect the water or the earth,” he said. “People respond to incentives, and I want to find a way to infiltrate the system by taking what I learned from economics to help better the environment.”

Throughout his life he has been living by the quote from Gandhi: “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” "I use this quote with every approach, whether it’s socially, academically or religiously,” he said. So how would he apply the quote academically? What one piece of advice would he give a college student who wants to give up? "You learn more from your failures and hardships than you do from your successes,” he said. “The smallest thing can stress you out, but if you don’t do it, then you will never know what it means to fail and if you do, you will just have to learn from it and move on.”

Robbins is close in getting his PhD in economics. He sees himself at Manchester for several more years, and when thinking about his future, Robbins hopes to have what he calls a “happy, healthy teaching life.”