By Madeleine Balestrier, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Redshirt junior Noah Roberson doesn't only exert impressive amounts of concentration and balance on the still rings, but also in the classroom as he pursues a double major in biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering within the Schreyers Honors College. As the Penn State men's gymnastic team enters this semester with 13 out of their 21 gymnasts on the dean's list, Roberson leads the precedence for educational excellence as he continues to maintain a 4.0 GPA.
"So even coming to college it is just putting all of the effort I can into every aspect of life whether gymnastics, school and it's turned out well for me so far," Roberson said on his path to success.
Since Roberson joined the Nittany Lions in 2015, his academic accomplishments have been honored across a number of platforms. Roberson's awards range from Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, Academic All-Big Ten, First Team CGA All-America Scholar-Athlete to the prestigious Elite 90 Award. In both the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Roberson notched three of the four awards listed.
"As a student he is like 99.9%, he's killing it... He hasn't gotten anything less than an A yet," head coach Randy Jepson said. "There isn't anything he hasn't done academically that he can do better."
Even before joining the Blue and White, Roberson had high academic standards as he graduated from Willamsville South High School in Willamsville, New York with another perfect 4.0 GPA.
"I like to credit to my parents and my upbringing really," Roberson said. "It's always been like this for us...my parents really pushed me and my siblings to be the best we could be in everything we do."
Jepson views Roberson's academic dedication and childhood foundation as a vital factor to his gymnastic career as a still ring specialist.
"He is a bright guy, he gets what we are talking about when we are training and the changes he needs to make," Jepson said. "A good example of that is this summer he struggled at the end of routines for the past two years in terms of fitness. He just didn't quite have a strong enough handstand at the end and he came back much stronger this summer. He made the changes he needed to get better and you know he has been able to put in some really good rings for us so far this year."
Roberson's classroom achievements not only improve his personal gymnastics career, but also helps elevate the standard of Penn State men's gymnastics as he offers academic advice and knowledge to the other student-athletes on the squad, especially sophomore biomedical engineering major Sam Zakutney.
"He always gives me pointers about all of the different classes I am planning on taking and giving me tips on who are good professors and what not and how to properly study for exams," Zakutney said. "Yeah he's a real help, real mentor."
While Roberson embraces his current student-athlete role, he looks to the future to pursue a career that bolsters his education, but also his love for gymnastics. Last summer he applied his experiences to his first internship, an opportunity with Delphi.
"It's really different honestly," Roberson said on his internship experience. "It's nothing like school. It's the real world. It gives you a taste of it. It gives me connections, it helps me network, really learn...I really think that has helped me moving on."
While this summer he has an opportunity to work with prosthetics at Stryker, a medical devices and equipment manufacturing company. He hopes this internship will also call upon his gymnastics background and interests.
"Stryker is a company I really would like to work for coming out of school as well," Roberson said. "I have always been interested in biomechanics. Cleary with gymnastics everything we do is strength, injury related, so I will be working with prosthetics with them and specifically the foot and ankle team which is awesome."
Roberson's dedication to hard work has motivated a path that intersects at the pinnacle of his interests: gymnastics, engineering, and Penn State.
"I am really looking forward to just getting more real world experience getting engineering knowledge and kind of helping to better the world which is why I became an engineer in the first place," Roberson said.
The discipline of gymnastics, the rigorousness of a double major education and the dedication of a student-athlete's life proved to be the formula for Roberson's success as a Nittany Lion and a future engineer.
"It is going to open up doors coming out of here where as much as I love gymnastics, gymnastics can't really do [that] and it's going to give me a platform to really reach any goal I have," Roberson said.