by Grace Hatton, staff writer
When the former RISE director Ew Quimbaya-Winship left his position, the RISE Project was left without a leader. But recently, Wilson newcomer Robin Rusbolt has taken on the position of interim RISE director to ensure the project, which promotes respect, intervention, safety and empowerment, can run smoothly throughout the rest of the semester.
Rusbolt came to the Asheville area when her partner Becki Hornung was hired as the new Social Work professor last semester. Rusbolt has been was working on personal projects since October but after Winship’s departure, Dean of Students Paul Perrine contacted Rusbolt as a candidate for the interim director position.
Rusbolt earned her B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and her Master’s in Community Mental Health from Western Illinois University.
Perrine felt Rusbolt’s previous experience made her the perfect fit for the interim role. Rusbolt was a licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota and she had a part-time private practice in which she focused exclusively on working with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.
Rusbolt was drawn to the position because of the prevalence and importance of the work that RISE does on campus.
“Knowing full well what it means to have support and advocacy available to survivors, it seemed to me that the RISE position was a good fit with my skills and background,” she said. “It’s one of those funny situations where I didn’t find the job—rather the job found me!”
Rusbolt will hold the interim RISE director position until the end of the semester, but in that time she hopes to use her skills and experience to support the campus and to help the RISE project become the best it can be for future students.
“The most important thing I and the RISE crew can accomplish is to provide access to support and advocacy for any sexual abuse and/or assault that a student may suffer here at Wilson,” she said. “After that, I hope to help the RISE crew make some of their upcoming events more successful and to recruit some new crew members for next fall.”