Harris Kline

BA in Sociology

"My professors at CUNY SPS have all shown themselves to be top of the line educators dedicated to expanding knowledge, encouraging freedom of expression and supporting exploration"

How does your current job relate to the field of sociology?

I never actually thought that my position as a military leader and a courtroom jurist would relate to the study of Sociology; but I have learned since matriculating into the CUNY SPS program that it does indeed pervade many aspects of both my roles.  Learning about how people "tick" and what motivates them can only enable me to better understand those I lead and those upon whom I sit in judgment. 

What is the most gratifying aspect of your job?

Having the power and authority to change a person's life.  I can move mountains for those climbing the ladder of success or who have run afoul of the law and perhaps need some understanding and a second chance.  I am able to touch lives profoundly and hopefully for the better.  

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

Doing the right thing for the individual involved. Trying to figure out what is the right course of action to ensure justice is served not only for the individual but also for society- in my world, the United States Government.

Why did you choose to earn your bachelor’s degree in sociology at CUNY SPS?  

CUNY staff and VA Liaisons were straight with me and did not promise things that turned out to be untrue.  I had never heard of CUNY growing up in Las Vegas and living most of my life abroad.  My wife is an alumna of Brooklyn College and informed me.  I loved the flexibility it offered.  I insisted that my "in person" course be close to Penn Station for my convenience. CUNY SPS rose to the challenge.  For the most part, my professors at CUNY SPS have all shown themselves to be top of the line educators dedicated to expanding knowledge, encouraging freedom of expression and supporting exploration.  

Why an online program?

The sheer demands of my schedule, my time, my staff and my responsibilities.  I do not have the luxury of time to personally attend a full course load of classes.  This is my first foray into this world and with some starts and fits on my part in cranking up the old educational machine; the Help Desk has made it fairly smooth sailing.

Did you ever think that you would enroll in an online degree program?

Never!  It just was not in my realm of experience and I never expected to be going back to school.

What has your experience been with online learning at CUNY SPS?  

Getting used to the various cyber programs has been daunting.  I often get frustrated; especially when the programs do not work.  However, the CUNY SPS Help Center is phenomenal!  I cannot believe the things I am able to accomplish online today that I could never have imagined doing only just last August.

What motivated you to return to school to complete your bachelor’s degree?  

I have several Bachelor's Degrees, a Juris Doctorate and a Master’s in International Law.  I came back to school to take advantage of my Veteran’s benefits.

What has been one of your favorite courses?  

Here are my top two so far: Urban Sociology/Disability Law 

Favorite professors?

David Halle/Sheryl Dicker

Which professional and/or personal goals would you like to achieve prior to graduation?  

I have already long ago achieved them; however, I would very much like some sort of official-looking certificate signed by the Help Center attesting to the fact I conquered the Blackboard, E-Portfolios, etc. which I will hang in my chambers!!!

How have you grown as a result of your studies at CUNY SPS?

Well, I think it is a tad late for that; but I will say I have been exposed to new ideas and viewpoints, which is always exciting.  I have also been shown new ways to examine, analyze and approach the Human Condition.

What advice would you offer someone considering applying for admission to the BA in Sociology program? 

A. Speak with Dr. Barbara Walters!!!!  What an inspiration and a dynamic motivator for this field of study!  She is perhaps CUNY SPS’s greatest asset.  I have NEVER seen a professor- much less the Head of an Entire Department go to such personal lengths to ensure an individual student's success and enjoyment of the orioles.  Make sure she knows you are entering her department!!! 

B. Be certain you can handle self-discipline and self-regulation as most classes are not live and thus there is no constant acknowledgement of deadline.  This is a time, place and endeavor path for motivated adults, periods.

C. Demand the syllabus in advance to see if the workload to be required for a particular course will comport with the time you have to devote to the endeavor.

D. Fight, fight, fight to be able to take as many electives as possible!

E.  Take the time and effort to correspond with your professors when you do NOT have a problem or issue they need to handle.  Overall, again, they are top of the line animist interested in helping you achieve whatever your academic goal happens to be.

Harris also shared a few fun facts with us:

1. Place of employment: Global

2. Job title: Brigadier General

3. Place of residence: McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey

4. Weirdest place you have studied: Inside a tent under mosquito netting and armed guards in the Congo

5. Best thing about your community or NYC: I love the sheer vitality of The Big Apple!  There is always something going on; always something to do.

6. What you enjoy doing in your spare time (the little time that you have): Showing the world that I know exceptionally well to my beautiful wonderful bride of 15 years.

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