Meet Dr. Morlena T. Robinson
Who shaped my foundation?
I am Dr. Morlena T. Robinson and I was born in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies. I grew up in a town called Waterford, which is in the parish of St. Catherine, the island’s largest parish. During my early childhood years, I was raised with my maternal great-grandmother who couldn’t read or write. At around age eight, my great-grandmother would dictate letters that I use to pen to her daughter (my grandmother) who lived in Washington, DC. Inadvertently, that was the beginning of my teaching and learning experience. Although my great-grandmother was illiterate, she taught me structure by ensuring that I completed my homework assignments each day, and she instilled in me, the value of reading and writing. This early appreciation for literacy helped me to excel in my earlier school years. I loved and took pride in learning, and I was usually a diligent student.
Why I became an educator?
Over a decade ago, I began working as a substitute teacher in various community schools in my Harlem neighborhood. After a trip to Ghana, West Africa with a group of dedicated educators, parents, and students, I was inspired to commit full force to teaching high school students. I began my teaching career at a school for students who were a predominantly at-risk population, and I have focused mainly on this population throughout my career. I had high hopes of making a greater impact, which led me to pursue a school leadership position, beginning in the capacity of assistant principal. I obtained a Master of Science degree in Education, and a Certificate of Advanced Studies from the College of Saint Rose, both focusing on Educational Leadership and Administration. I also hold a Master of Arts degree in Applied Psychology from New York University, and my undergraduate studies in Health Education were completed at the University of Maryland at College Park.
What am I learning?
As a perpetual learner and a change agent, I had the unyielding desire to further my own learning and to contribute to the field of education through research. This led me to pursuing and earning my Doctor of Philosophy degree in Literacy from St. John’s University. Literacy encompasses every field that one can think of; it is the foundation of all learning. I discovered this phenomenon throughout my many years as an educator. Every student, teacher, professor, entrepreneur, traveler, and people across all industries, need guidance in literacy. Literacy is not simply reading and writing, it is communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. The 21st century demands us to access multiple intelligences and to utilize all our senses to successfully contribute to the world.
Where I Serve?
It brings me an abundance of joy to serve the local and global community, by participating in multiple service projects. I volunteer as the Centennial Northeastern Region Scholarship Chair of my illustrious sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated, which was founded by seven remarkable school teachers on November 12, 1922. My service participation also includes assisting in soup kitchens, collecting non-perishable items for those in need, amassing books and school supplies for students, coordinating coat drives, donating my talent as a peer reviewer, associate editor, and most recently helping with COVID-19 vaccine online access for a vulnerable population. I relish in uplifting others and mentoring my fellow colleagues and scholars; I also learn from them! Since earning my doctorate degree, I have appeared as a guest lecturer at St. John’s University, teaching two sections of qualitative research methods, a doctoral level course.
How I keep transforming?
I am a ‘certified explorer’ and I have gained a cultivated life experience from traveling around the globe. I possess a yearning for the arts, I am a fashion enthusiast, a gastronome, and a recreational painter and hobbyist. I decompress by venturing to a local park, exploring a museum, indulging in a performance, or delighting in a new dish at one of the many eclectic restaurants in New York, or on an excursion. Simply discovering life and learning something new each day is always transformational!
Doctor of Philosophy in Literacy
Master of Science in Education
Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Leadership & Administration
Master of Arts in Applied Psychology
Bachelor of Science in Health Education
PhDLIT was started to help others achieve their personal and professional goals. As Dr. Robinson encountered several bumps along the journey through ‘this thing called life’, she learned that you must just keep moving forward. Begin each day with a small accomplishment and hold on to your goal. Whatever your goal is, you are able to accomplish it if you put a strategic action plan in place and persistently work towards it. Sometimes you may need to modify the plan, and approach from a different angle.