Augusta University Values Week: Robert Barlund’s international experience with collegiality

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Robert Barlund, a sophomore computer science major, opens up about his international experience with the university.

Augusta University is sharing the spirit of collegiality on Monday, Nov. 11, during the second annual Values Week.

Robert Barlund, a sophomore computer science major, opens up about his international experience with the university.

Collegiality is reflected in collaboration, partnership, sense of community and teamwork.

Barlund, from Finland, plays for the men’s basketball team. He also works as a tutor in the Academic Success Center.

He is a third-generation basketball player who said he has been playing since he was 6 years old. He also said he knew he wanted to pursue basketball since he was in middle school.

“My dad played basketball, my granddad played basketball, and I was always taller than kids my age,” he said. “My parents exposed many things to me, but basketball is what really stuck.”

He said choosing Augusta University wasn’t a difficult decision at all.

“When I was approached by Augusta two years ago, I felt with the upcoming Georgia Cyber Center, it was the right decision,” he said. “I didn’t even visit the university before I came here.

“My experience here has been amazing so far. I can’t find one thing I don’t like about Augusta,” he added.

 ‘I’m here for the team’

Barlund mentioned that in Finland, he served as a local swim teacher and substitute teacher. He brought those experiences with him as he tutors in the ASC.

“I meet new people every day,” he said. “Even though I’m helping teach students, I’m on the same level as them. The interaction between every single person I work with must start with respect.”

Barlund describes collegiality as doing what you’re supposed to be doing. He mentions that while the commitment to be a college athlete is intense, it’s worth the cost.

“Even though we aren’t pros here, we practice like pros,” he said. “It’s not about just playing for fun. We make something out of it. You can see it from the amount of people who support us and come watch the games.”

In addition to tutoring at the ASC, he also is one of the first people to step up and help his teammates off the court — especially with their academics.

“I’m someone who they can come to for anything,” he said. “I help them take care of whatever they need to take care of. It is a lot more work for me, but we’re a team. It benefits everyone.

“I’m a people pleaser. I want everyone to be happy with what I do,” he added.

Barlund will begin his second season on the team this month. He looks forward to getting back on the court.

“The training wheels are off this season,” he said.

During Values Week

The Department of Student Life and Engagement will be giving cupcakes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, to all students who come to campus dressed in school spirit.

Students can pick up their cupcakes at the Jaguar Student Activities Center, Allgood Hall, and the Health Sciences Student Center.

“Collegiality keeps us together even if we have different positions,” Barlund said. “Be open. There’s something you can learn from everyone.”

For more information about Values Week, contact Joe Pierce, director of student life and engagement.

Learn more about the Department of Student Life and Engagement.

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Written by
Raysean Ricks

Raysean Ricks is a writer in the Division of Communications & Marketing at Augusta University. Contact him to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-6144 or email him at

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Written by Raysean Ricks

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