Crafting change through words: Asiya Robinson’s writing, advocacy, and future aspirations

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Life doesn’t always go as planned. For many people, their journeys lead them down unexpected, but exciting and rewarding paths. Asiya Robinson, a senior writing arts major at Rowan with a double minor in creative writing and journalism, discovered this during high school.  

Before coming to college, Robinson was looking to start a career in cosmetology. She became interested in writing when she studied poetry in an English class and talked to one of her teachers, who encouraged her to pursue the field. Not long after, Robinson applied to Rowan and won second place in the university’s Emerging Writers Contest, foreshadowing her future success.

“I remember I got the email about the competition,” Robinson said. “I submitted a lot of poetry pieces and I had some creative nonfiction pieces in there too. I wasn’t expecting to hear anything back but then I got an email that I had gotten second place.”

Since then, Robinson has established herself as an accomplished, well-rounded writer. At college, she’s taken courses in creative writing, copy editing, and broadcast news writing just to name a few. Through multiple roles and internships, her work has been published on GameRant, Study Breaks, and the Rowan University blog, where she’s written about topics ranging from local Glassboro news to Marvel. Because of the variety of these experiences, Robinson takes pride in her ability to be a versatile writer.

For this success, she also credits the activities she’s participated in when she’s away from the keyboard. As a digital content creator for the Rowan blog, Robinson performs photojournalism, which has helped her grow as a writer. 

“Photojournalism gives you a better frame. It’s easier to craft the story when you know how you’d wanna take the photos if you wrote the story. It’ll kinda mesh together.”

In addition to using a camera, Robinson reads to diversify and polish her writing skills. 

“Just by reading different things, I think that’s helped. I get to see what different writers do and kinda pick up on different techniques that way,” she said. “I like romance, I also like memoirs too.”

For Robinson, learning to write in various styles and formats goes beyond becoming a multifaceted professional. It also allows her to be a voice for social change and advocacy. Robinson is passionate about using words to fight prejudice and promote mental well-being. During her freshman year at Rowan, she submitted creative entries about mental health for an online book by the non-profit PureMind. 

“In my high school there was a lot of racism and issues like that, there was a lot of homophobia,” Robinson said. “That’s where writing about social problems stemmed from and I would kind of write the stuff down and that would help me get through it. Then I would see stuff online too where people would relate to it. So I was able to see at least through writing that I wasn’t the only one experiencing these things.” 

In the future, Robinson wants to continue using her writing to call attention to discrimination. After graduation this spring, she is also interested in becoming a journalist or author. She hopes to release a novel or a poetry anthology. 

“If I did the poetry collection I think I’d wanna just kind of frame it with different stories from different chapters in my life. I think that would be cool.”  

For comments/questions about this story DM us on Instagram @thewhitatrowan or email the.whit.arts@gmail.com.

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