Graduate School Q&A: Shaq'Ke Robinson uses Sport Administration degree to pursue teaching career

Shaq'Ke Robinson recently graduated from Henderson State University with a graduate degree in Sport Administration.

Please tell us about yourself, and share a little bit about your background and how it relates to your current graduate studies.

My name is Shaq'Ke Robinson. I was born in Forrest City, and graduated in 2018 from the Arkansas School for the Deaf. I earned my bachelor's degree in Sport Management from Henderson State in 2022. I transitioned directly into pursuing a master's degree in Sport Administration.

I'm currently employed as a secondary teacher back at my alma mater at the Arkansas School for the Deaf.

As a deaf person, I was born with the ability to hear. But, unfortunately, I lost my hearing at the age of three due to a viral infection. American Sign Language (ASL) has become my primary language, as it allows me to communicate efficiently through gestures and hand movements.

On a daily basis, I rely on ASL to interact with students, interpreters, other deaf individuals, and people who are fluent in sign language. English is my second language. I was the only deaf graduate student in the state of Arkansas.

I have a deep passion for sports, particularly football. I discovered my love for the game when I joined the school football team in 6th grade during my time in middle school.

I enjoy being active and participating in various sports and physical activities. I find that engaging in sports not only keeps me physically fit, but also allows me to challenge myself, work as part of a team, and experience the thrill of competition.

How do you manage your work-life balance as a graduate student?

As a graduate student, managing work-life balance can be challenging, but it is essential for overall well-being and success. To achieve this balance, it is important to prioritize and schedule your tasks, establish boundaries between work and personal life, practice effective time management, take regular breaks, delegate tasks when possible, and maintain self-care. All you need to do is just do it -- don't wait.

What inspired you to seek your graduate degree?

I have people behind me who support and believe in me and they encouraged me to pursue graduate school. This is the story of support that has shown me that I believe in myself and that I can achieve my goals. I couldn't have come this far without their unwavering support.

Why did you choose Henderson to pursue your graduate degree? When do you plan to graduate?

Henderson State University is the real deal! The Disability Resource Center is the real deal as well! They provide me with full resources and support to pursue and enhance my knowledge and skills in my specific field. I graduated with a master's degree in Sport Administration this spring.

What has been your favorite class (related to your major) so far, and why?

My favorite classes were the ones I took with Dr. Stanley, Dr, Wempe, and Dr. Martin. I have always looked up to them because I love how they provide full support, understanding, and patience. The classes they taught were interesting and will help me in my career.

How has your perspective on your field changed since starting your graduate studies?

Graduate studies allow me to delve deeper, open my mind, foster professional growth, and develop critical thinking skills. It is not only because of these reasons that I have chosen to pursue graduate studies. I have also noticed that my graduate study experience has greatly influenced my personal growth and development, shaping me into the person I am today.

What advice would you give to future graduate students to make the most of their experience at Henderson?

To make the most of their experience at Henderson State University, future graduate students should focus on setting clear goals, utilizing resources, building a strong network, engaging in research and internships, seeking mentorship, getting involved on campus, and prioritizing self-care.

What are your career aspirations or plans after completing your graduate studies?

I will continue to be a teacher at the Arkansas School for the Deaf and motivate students to participate in athletics and develop healthy life choices and skills.

Please share something about yourself that might surprise most people.

I was named Henderson State’s 2022-2023 Duke Wells Inspirational Award, the highest honor given to any male athlete at Henderson State University by the Athletic Department.
I was leading the GAC in sacks on year, but I went down due to Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) against Harding University.
I was named GAC defensive player of the week in 2022.
I was named a semifinalist for the 2023 William V. Campbell Trophy by the National Football Foundation. I was one of out 15 players from the NCAA Division II level to be named a semifinalist for the award.
I was the only deaf football player in the whole NCAA competition.
I have maintained a 4.0 in my masters degree program.

If you could have lunch with any historical figure, who would it be? And why?

I would choose Martin Luther King Jr. He was a prominent civil rights activist and a powerful advocate for equality and justice. I would be honored to sit down with him and have a conversation about his vision for a more inclusive and equal society. I would love to discuss his strategies for nonviolent protest, his experiences during the Civil Rights Movement, and his dreams for a world free from discrimination and oppression. Dr. King's speeches and actions continue to inspire and resonate with people around the world, and having the opportunity to learn from him directly would be incredibly enlightening and impactful. "I have a Dream," his famous quote, is always my favorite and inspires me on a daily basis. He is an inspirational and respectful person.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My biggest inspiration is Kobe Bryant. He was not only a legendary basketball player but also a dedicated and hardworking individual who constantly pushed himself to achieve greatness. He demonstrated a relentless work ethic and a commitment to excellence that inspired others to strive for their goals. His achievements on the
basketball court and his positive impact off the court make him an influential figure and a source of inspiration for many. He is in a better place now, reunited with his daughter.

How important do you believe a graduate degree is for a successful and satisfying career?

I believe that obtaining a graduate degree can provide you with a sense of accomplishment and confidence, knowing that you have the skills and knowledge to pursue your aspirations. It demonstrates your dedication, hard work, and goal-setting abilities. This achievement can bring a great sense of fulfillment and cannot be easily taken away from you. It can also help you be more employable in your career. You will not regret the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes with earning a graduate degree.

For more information about Henderson State's Sport Administration, visit