The Mid-Eastern Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MEAEOPP) held a banquet on March, 27 to recognize TRIO Achievers in each of the region’s states, as well as Washington, D.C.
Lock Haven University alumnus, Robert “Robbie” Von Langen, won an award for his hard work, dedication, and success in his post-graduation career. He was nominated for selection as the Pennsylvania TRIO Achiever by Dr. Julie Story, TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) director at LHU.
Started by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago as part of Civil Rights legislation, the TRIO SSS program is a federal grant program for first-generation, financially disadvantaged college students, or students with disabilities who can benefit from a range of academic, socio-cultural, personal, career, and financial literacy programming in support of their successful completion of postsecondary education.
Story first met Von Langen in 2007, during his freshman year at LHU, and worked with him as the program’s writing specialist. Von Langen, who has a learning disability, quickly discovered that the TRIO program offered writing support, which enabled him to perfect his writing skills and get the help he needed to succeed.
Von Langen was born and raised in Reading. He was the youngest of three siblings, and spent most of his time cross-country running and attending youth trips with his local church. His learning disability, which affected his ability to read and write, challenged him academically. In school, he struggled with the decisions he needed to make for his future. Guidance counselors questioned whether college was the right path for him, but that didn’t stop him.
He chose Lock Haven University because of its health and physical education major and the support programs it offered first-year students, like the TRIO SSS program. TRIO provided him with mentors, advice, and academic help. In his sophomore year, he was offered a position with the TRIO program as a peer mentor.
“He possessed the TRIO qualities of high-level dedication and hard work that led to his achievement and success as a student in health and physical education. … Robbie’s mantra is that he is able to do whatever he wants to do, so long as he goes out and gets it done,” Story said. “(He had an) eagerness to learn, (a good) teaching background, and enthusiasm for helping others to understand and maintain good health.”
As a child, Von Langen lost his father to heart disease and cancer, which gave him the drive to pursue a career that would help others struggling with similar ailments. After earning his bachelor’s degree in health and physical education from LHU in 2011, he attended East Stroudsburg University’s master’s program, where he earned his master’s degree in clinical exercise and physiology.
Von Langen is employed as a cardiac pacemaker technician at a well-known hospital’s cardiology office in Syracuse, New York, where he resides with his wife, Liz. He helps patients recover from major cardiac events, and specializes in vascular testing and devices.
“He literally helps people to live,” Story said, adding that his experience with TRIO at LHU gave him the resources, skills, and confidence to grow into the person he is today.
Sign-up for LHU’s new monthly newsletter, LHU & You, to get all of your updates on The Haven and the Lock Haven community. Click here to sign up
Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
Questions About the Article?
Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations
Contact our Admissions Office
8:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday