The road to present day.


s a leader, I am passionate and dedicated to juvenile justice issues.
I have spent over a decade working and studying to understand and influence issues critical to youth and their families. As an instructor, at both the university and community college levels, I know the importance of academic preparation and the critical role an equitable and quality education plays in enhancing outcomes for all students; especially students of color. Thus I apply my scholarship and experience to my community commitments as a form of praxis.

During the past 14 years I have served in executive positions for three non-profit organizations that serve children and families. My non-profit experience inspired my pursuit of graduate studies. I earned my Ph.D in Cultural Studies in Education from the University of Texas at Austin. At the University of Texas, Austin I received a solid theoretical critical training. It strengthened my commitment to the scholarly examination of juvenile justice issues and the intersection of race and culture in the United States schools. My academic trajectory is based on a strong interdisciplinary foundation of cultural studies, educational psychology, and social work. Coupled with my personal background, my training provides me with valuable lenses to approach research and teaching, and a greater capacity for leadership. The experience supports my strong, practical experiences in executive positions in non-profit organizations. My graduate studies gave me the additional tools I needed to serve youth more effectively.

My graduate studies paired with my work experiences provides me with a uniquely greater understanding of best practices in youth services in justice systems, education systems, legislative processes and community service organizations.

My dissertation builds on the school to prison pipeline scholarship. It is a study of four generations of formerly incarcerated African American males that explores how their schooling and community experiences influenced their entry into the juvenile justice system. My research and final Master’s thesis focused on human development and the pathways to juvenile delinquency. My understandings of the theoretical and practical approaches to youth services were broaden through my graduate studies. I finished with a greater capacity to teach, conduct research, and chart a strategic intellectual and practical agenda in the area of juvenile justice.

I am currently working on a project that builds on my dissertation work entitled Being on Paper: Shaping the Educational and Legal Identity of African American Males. The work explores the notion of African American males being over-determined for participation in the criminal justice system. I am a scholar who believes her work should be practical

Lastly, my leadership and teaching philosophies are undergirded with a belief that with leading, research, and teaching, a clear understanding and knowledge of different educational histories is essential. I believe preserving and valuing community knowledge, as legitimate epistemology is necessary for all youth, but most critical for youth of color in our prisons and schools. My pedagogy valorizes the educational histories of people in the U.S. Accordingly it is intended to be critical, transformative and restorative in particular in the intersection of schooling and the juvenile justice system.


The University of Texas, Austin, TX
Doctor of Philosophy, Curriculum & Instruction-Cultural Studies in Education May 2013
Dissertation title: The School to Prison Pipeline and the Voices of Formerly Incarcerated African American Males

The University of Texas, Austin, TX
Master of Education in Educational Psychology, May 2005

Howard University, Washington, DC
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts-Directing, August 1994


Robinson, C., Urrieta, L. & Counts, N. (2015). Dropout Nation: The School to Prison Pipeline, Educational Reform and Caring for African American and Latino Students. In D. Liston & I. P. Renga (Eds.), Teaching, Learning, and Schooling in Film: Reel Education. New York: Taylor & Francis/Routledge

Urrieta, L., Martin, K. & Robinson, C. (2011). I am in school: African American male youth in prison/college hybrid figured world. Urban Review

Suizzo, M.-A., Robinson, C. , & Pahlke, E. (2008). African American mothers’ socialization beliefs and goals with young children: Themes of struggle, education, and collective independence. Journal of Family Issues, 29(3), 287-316.

Suizzo, M.-A., Chen, W.-C., Cheng, C.-C., Liang, A., Contreras, H., Zanger, D., & Robinson C. (2008). Parental beliefs about young children’s socialization across U.S. ethnic groups: Coexistence of independence and interdependence. Early Child Development and Care, 178(5), 467-486.

Conference Presentations

Robinson, C. (December 2014). Criminalizing African American Males: Constructing the School to Prison Pipeline after Brown v. Board. Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Conference in Washington, DC

Robinson, C. (November 2014). Social Injustice Among African American Boys. Keynote presented at Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Annual Banquet in Austin, TX

Robinson, C. & Bright, D (November 2014). A Family Affair: Finding Solutions to Family and Community Re-entry. Presented at Travis County Sheriff’s Office Vision Summit in Austin, TX

Robinson, C.(April 2014). We are not Color-blind We are Culturally Responsive. Presented at Seedling Foundation Regional Training in Austin, TX

Robinson, C. (January 2014). Celebrating Martin Luther King and the new era of student activism. Presented at Jack and Jill of America Teen Summit in Austin, TX

Robinson, C. (November 2013). Being on paper: Constructing the educational and legal identity of African American males. Paper presented at American Anthropological Association Conference in Chicago, IL

Robinson, C. (October 2012). Constructing the school to prison pipeline. Paper Presented at Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology Conference in Milwaukee, WI.

Robinson, C. (March 2011). How can culturally relevant pedagogy impact the school to prison pipeline? Roundtable presentation at Consortium for Research in Teacher Education Conference in Austin, TX.

Robinson, C., Aggrey, L. (August 2008). Begin the dialogue: How to address culture, ethnicity, and differences in Pflugerville schools. Presented at Pflugerville Independent School District Elementary Schools Principal’s Meeting. Pflugerville, TX.

Robinson, C., Aggrey, L. (July 2008). Let’s talk about it: Culture and climate change in Pflugerville schools. Presented at Pflugerville Independent School District Diversity Conference. Pflugerville, TX.

Suizzo, M.-A, Robinson, C. (April 2006). African American mother’s beliefs and practice with young children: Relations between Academic and Racial socialization. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association 2006 Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA

Suizzo, M.-A., Robinson, C., Cheng, J., Contreras, H., Zanger, D. (April 2005). Parents’ Socialization Goals Across U.S. Ethnic Groups: Using a Cultural Models Framework to Transcend Contradictions. Poster presented at the Society for Research on Child Development 2005 Bi-Annual Meeting. Atlanta, GA

Suizzo, M. -A., Cheng, J., Contreras, H., Zanger, D., Robinson, C., & Liang, A. (April 2004). Parental beliefs about the education of young children: Chinese-American, African-American, Mexican-American, and European-American cultural models. Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association 2004 Annual Meeting. San Diego, CA