On the side, he has a small part time job with ASL Trivia DC, where he writes the questions for their trivia competitions. On the second and fourth Mondays of every month, 100 to 200 deaf people gather at a bar in downtown DC to answer these questions (signed by two deaf emcees) in teams and vie for prizes. The topics are as diverse as breakfast, astronomy, country flags, Dr. Seuss, deaf people on TV, Secret Service scandals, happenings around DC, etc.
Robert majored in Computer Science at RIT, and in 2012-2013 worked as a Community Student Advocate for the NTID Student Life Team, in which he helped guide NTID freshman orientation; he also served a role similar to a resident advisor in the dorms. He was President of Spectrum (NTID's LGBTIQ and Straight Alliance), student trip leader for the RIT Alternative community-service Spring Break trip to New Orleans, a member of the Signing in Public Spaces Committee, and a member/secretary of the Cross-Registered Student Advisory board. In May 2013, he won the Mr. NTID award for community involvement; Spectrum was recognized as outstanding deaf club.
Throughout the year, Rob also participated alongside two other RIT students in the ZVRS Next Big Idea innovation competition. They developed an idea for a GPS tracker/flashing light device that could be placed on hearing devices so deaf/hard of hearing customers could use a website or smartphone app to find their lost hearing devices. They won second place and a $3,000 prize.
He has worked as a software engineering intern at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. His project (in collaboration with one other intern) was one of many others supporting data testing for the Orion spacecraft. Robert was one of the presenters for the See-Through Life-Size Interactive Monitor project at ImageRIT. He programmed and developed the SLIM software during a co-op internship with the NTID Center on Access Technology in the summer and fall of 2011. All interaction with SLIM is visible on both sides, eliminating the loss of eye contact whenever the teach turns around to write on the board or operate a PowerPoint, for example.
Robert has been involved in many other activities over the years. In high school, he came in second nationally in the Academic Quiz bowl, the first time anyone from Nebraska has ever done that. He was subsequently hired by the Academic Decathlon to develop study guides on French Art and the Great Depression. His letters were likewise stellar. They say things such as "Robert is...definitely in a class of his own," and "...the hearing students...looked to him for advice and knowledge." One summarized: "What you need to know is that Robert is caring, funny, helpful, appreciative, smart, determined, and one of a kind."