Cynthia Robinson Civil

Advanced Certificate in Immigration Law

“Returning to school and completing my education has opened doors for me and has given me the ability to help my family and make a better life for the next generation.”

Why did you choose CUNY SPS?

CUNY SPS certificate programs are what attracted me to the School; I completed the Immigration Law advanced certificate program.

What most appealed to you about your CUNY SPS certificate program?  

Meeting people from all walks of life who came to America in search of a better life and opportunities that would advance them towards the American Dream.

How did you find your online/classroom interaction with other students?  With faculty?  

All of the courses were engaging.  I specifically enjoyed role playing with other students.  We learned a lot from each other.  I played an immigration judge in a mock court proceeding.  A few semesters had passed since taking the course, and students would come up to me and say I really played the role of a judge.  They said I was very convincing and a few expressed having the feeling they were in front of a real judge.  The professor commented that they should take my line of questioning very seriously. I took one online course and it was great, but I enjoyed physically being in a classroom setting, getting feedback from the professor and engaging with my peers.

What were some of the most defining aspects of your time at CUNY SPS?

Gaining knowledge from immigration attorneys and watching how rapidly immigration rules/laws change on a dial. I’ve attended several different CUNY certificate programs and CUNY SPS is the only school that continues to invite me to networking events and webinars about what’s trending.  Current students and alumni are constantly learning from these interactions. I have gained friendships with students that I still am in touch with to this day.  We meet for coffee and pastries and discuss what is going on in immigration and our personal lives.  I have connected to students I met at CUNY SPS networking events and have connected with them on LinkedIn as well.

What is the most important thing you learned at CUNY SPS?  

We are all part of the melting pot no matter where we come from.  People are truly the same wherever you go.  CUNY SPS embraces diversity and inclusion.  I met students from many countries who shared their stories.

How has your CUNY SPS degree influenced your career?

I earned my BA with a concentration in public administration at City College of New York (CCNY) and my MA in urban affairs at Queens College.  I attended a certificate program to enhance my professional development.  Immigration was in the news every day and it interests me.  While in graduate school, I wrote a paper on the Dreamers and learned about DACA, and that sparked my interest in applying to the certificate program.  I have been working in higher education for more than 18 years now, and all of my learning has influenced my career.  I was asked by the provost if I would serve on the Diversity and Inclusion Council and my response was a resounding YES.  My plan is to return to CUNY SPS to further my education.  I am a life-long learner.  Returning to school and completing my education has opened doors for me and has given me the ability to help my family and make a better life for the next generation.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Helping others, whether they are students or colleagues.  The most rewarding part of my job is helping young people grow and become primary care physicians. It is a great feeling meeting students at Freshmen Orientation then watching them walk across the stage with their MD.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I saw myself being elevated to the next level and I have reached my goal! I was recently promoted to a directorship within my current department and can continue to serve my student population. I look forward to what comes next on my journey.

Outside the Classroom

  • Giants, Jets, other, don’t care?  Knicks, Nets, other, don’t care?  Mets, Yankees, other, don’t care? Not a sports fan
  • Favorite subway line?  Least favorite subway line? The IND line (A/D) express trains
  • Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, both, neither? Scandal
  • Favorite NYC attraction?  The Theatre District (Broadway in the summertime)
  • Favorite NYC cultural institution? The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
  • Biggie, Tupac, both, neither?  Beatles, Rolling Stones, both, neither?  Mariah, Nicki Minaj, both, neither?  Favorite artist/band?  Tupac, Rhythm & Blues and Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, none, all?  Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Book or e-reader?  Favorite title or the most recent title you read?  Any books by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

Read more about Advanced Certificate in Immigration Law Studies