Featured Alums: Rebekkah ‘Griffith’ Robbins, Biology 2005, and Paul Robbins, Computer Science 2003

Rebekkah and Paul in Times Square, New York City

Rebekkah: I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Spanish from CBU in December of 2005. A day after completing the requirements for graduation, I got married and moved to New York City with my husband, Paul (Computer Science ‘03). I took a position as a technician in a tuberculosis research laboratory at Weill Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. The main goal of our lab (with help from various collaborators) is to identify and characterize possible new drug targets forMycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis. Numerous grants fund our lab and they include those from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the NIH. Much of our work is performed in a Bio-Safety Level 3 laboratory, working directly with the tuberculosis pathogen. My largest individual project is characterizing a controllable protein degradation system for the Mycobacteria genus using a mechanism adapted from E. coli. With the results I have been observing, I am hoping for a publication to arise from this project within the next year or so. At some point in the future, I plan to attend graduate school and obtain my Ph. D. to continue research of infectious diseases such as tuberculosis.

New York City is a fabulous place to live. Paul and I never thought that we would ever relocate to a city like this, but we feel quite fortunate to have the opportunity to live here. A fellow CBU School of Sciences graduate, Paul works for The New York Times and both of us feel that to live here is to live on the cutting edge of research and technology. The biggest down side so far has been the lack of good southern barbecue, but we enjoy traveling back to our home towns of Nashville and Memphis to satisfy our craving quite often. We have a dog named Oakleigh who keeps us busy rock climbing and chasing squirrels in Central Park. We are enjoying living in the big city as we wait to see what the future has in store for us.

Paul After finishing my BS at CBU, upon a recommendation from Dr. Yanushka, I enrolled into the Masters of Science program at the University of Memphis. I completed my Masters with a concentration in Management Information Systems in May of 2005. While working on my MSBA, I moved from a programming job at AutoZone to a position at Fred’s Inc working on their pharmacy computer systems. In October 2005, I relocated to NYC to work for Duane Reade, a pharmacy chain with 250 locations in the metro New York area. In early August 2007, I started a position with the New York Times working on the nytimes.com website. The programs I work on contribute to the dynamic page generation of the many different topics on the site. Much of the work involves XML, PHP, Perl, and mutliple database products. Open source software plays a major role in our culture, including our contribution to many open source products. My department recently moved into a new building near Times Square which is one of the tallest building in NYC.