HRTS Alum Profile: Robert Owens

April 12, 2021

PPE L Rome Robbins & R- Robert Owens.jpg

HRTS alum Robert Owens (at right) with his friend and collaborator Rome Robbins
HRTS alum Robert Owens (at right) with his friend and collaborator Rome Robbins

Early in the Covid-19 pandemic, Human Rights Practice student Robert Owens wanted to help people suffering. He saw a call put out on Pima County’s Instagram page asking for help to address the shortage of personal protective equipment, or PPE, for healthcare workers. As a resourceful small businessman, Robert went to work and quickly procured some N95 masks, which he donated to Pima County.

Robert then teamed up with his roommate, another student at the University of Arizona, Rome Robbins, and Pima Community College student Jeremy Siek. They began printing and assembling 3D face shields. Robert worked with Autosys, an industrial 3D printer, to make 1,000 plus face shields, which he brought to the Navajo Nation when they were in the midst of a Covid-19 crisis. Robert and his colleagues also brought cases of water and food.

Since the summer of 2020, the team have continued producing and providing face shields to the Red Cross, the Veterans Affairs, Emerge Shelter for Domestic Violence and others. Robert is considering turning the project into a nonprofit.

Robert, his roommate Rome and all of his team gave us hope in the darkness of the pandemic summer. Thank you Robert!

You can our video about Robert and his collaborators on our YouTube channel.