Social Work faculty member credits mentors with her success

Carleen Robinson Ph.D social work faculty member

Each month, faculty and staff are recognized for their enormous contribution to Union. Today’s spotlight is on Carleen Robinson, PhD., LCSW Part-time Social Work Faculty. Learn more about Carleen in the Q & A below.

Q: What excites you about being part of higher education?

A: Throughout my life I have been mentored primarily by outstanding African American female educators who encouraged me to advance my education. Later many multi-cultural/ethnic educators expressed similar sentiments that reinforced this message. So now that I am a part of higher education, I get excited thinking about all the special people who made it possible and whose confidence has helped bring me to this point. More importantly, I feel I have an obligation to transfer the same spirit of direction, guidance and nurturing to students regardless of their background and/or circumstances. Making a contribution to the future of persons who are doing their best to succeed and accomplish educational goals is a profound responsibility. As an adult learner I can relate to students on so many different levels especially by demonstrating how theory and practice can be successfully combined. I consider higher learning to be the main pathway to self-determination, independence, career growth and development.

Q: What attracted you to become part of the Union family?

A: There are multiple reasons I became part of the Union family. First, the positive team spirit exhibited by the Social Work administrators’ group who hired me. Then, I was trained on the cutting–edge learning format via CTL and learned to utilize this for development of effective online teaching methods. I really felt it was special and unique to be using a videoconferencing platform such as GoToMeeting to connect with students across the nation. I was particularly impressed by the ability to engage with social service agencies throughout the country. It really helped to have the convenience and supportive location of the Florida Academic Center staff and faculty. Last, but not least, I continue to be impressed by the way students feel free to express enthusiasm, a consistent level of preparedness to work hard and strong commitment to their educational goals which in my opinion is a tribute to the quality of education at Union.

Q: If you could have any job in the whole world, what would it be?

Ideally as a seasoned clinical researcher, I would love to be a Principal Investigator (PI) of a major research study examining various topics such as “The Impact of Stress on Adult Learners and the Family.”

Q: What surprises people about you?

I am a vocalist who throughout my formative years was trained in classical music. After high school I performed with two music groups: The Afro-Asian Music Ensemble (Jazz-recorded 2 albums) and JAMONTRAD. The acronym stood for Jamaica, Monserrat & Trinidad, and we performed R&B, Reggae and Calypso music.

Q: What is your favorite book and why?

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou. Naturally, given my musical background, the title of the book immediately caught my attention. This book was inspirational and came at a time in my life to help me rise above many challenges. I felt empowered by Maya Angelou’s story especially when faced with obstacles during the early phases of trying to obtain a college education. It continues to be a standard reminder for me of the “need to stay positive and despite difficult experiences to continue to persevere.”


Be the world-changer you’ve always wanted to be. Enroll now in the Union Institute & University Social Work Bachelor’s degree program that incorporates social justice advocacy. It all starts with You! And it all starts at Union Institute & University. Click here to learn more.