William in the Media

Tulane 34 Award Press Release

The annual Tulane 34 Awards are among the most coveted university-wide honors a graduate can receive. Named in reference to Tulane’s founding year of 1834, the award recognizes 34 students who demonstrated exemplary leadership, service and academic excellence throughout their time at Tulane. This year’s recognition united a diverse group of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from across the university’s schools and from six countries and 13 states.

President Michael A. Fitts praised the students for excelling throughout their Tulane careers and carrying on the values and traditions on which Tulane was founded. Fitts also remarked on this cohort’s vast variety of achievements, including leading student governments, shining as student-athletes on the field and in the classroom, embracing an interdisciplinary approach to their studies, and even starting their own nonprofits. 

Jim Runsdorf Excellence in Public Service Award feature in Tulane Today newsletter, May 17th, 2024

When William Bai arrived at Tulane four years ago, he wanted to find a way to combine public service with his background in robotics, which began in the sixth grade while growing up in San Jose, California, and attending many tech camps.

“Robotics is something that requires a lot of commitment,” Bai said. “You build the robot, you fail and you continue working on it. It hones those skills that make a lot of great scientists and engineers,” he said.

When he struggled to find robotics teams to volunteer with at New Orleans charter schools, he landed on the idea to start his own initiative.

He launched the nonprofit RoboRecovery. Over the course of three years, the organization has facilitated free robotics programs in schools across the New Orleans area. Through the Tulane Center for Public Service Tier I and Tier II service internship programs, they have brought in 52 Tulane student participants to mentor at local schools, Bai said.

Additionally, the organization created an inventory of over $40,000 worth of donated robotics equipment in partnership with the STEM Library Lab in Metairie, which helps increase access to science equipment for local educators. In total, RoboRecovery has worked with 12 schools and two after-school organizations over the last three years, including local nonprofit Son of a Saint.

Feature on "Simple Acts, Big Impact" Podcast

Listen to this episode from Simple Acts, Big Impact on Spotify. This week is National Robotics Week, so I'm delighted to share this conversation with William B. a college student at Tulane University who created a nonprofit called RoboRecovery, which provides robotics kits and increases access to robotics education for under-resourced children in New Orleans. Learn more at www.roborecovery.org.

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