Sydney Robinson ’19

Clubs and Activities at CSB/SJU:

Saint Ben’s Senate: Women’s Initiative Rep and VP, RHA and RHHA: National Communications Coordinator, Orientation Leader and Coordinator, Advocates for Inclusive Mentoring Director (Internship through English Dept. as well), Cultural Affairs Board CSB-Chair and Secretary.

Current Job:

Student Success Advocate at The Intercultural and International Student Services at CSB/SJU.

What was your favorite English class? Why?

Writing Essays with Matt Challan was one of the best classes I’ve taken. I normally write poetry and narratives and have never dabbled in creative non-fiction. This class really went into depth about how to write based of vague prompts as well as encourages using the world around you to write. The workshops were designed to be beneficial for everyone whether they were an English major or not and allowed for collaboration in ways I hadn’t experienced yet through my courses. This is the class I recommend most when students as about how to develop themselves as writers.

What Professor Left a lasting impact on you?

Jessica Harkins. Yvette South. Rachel Marston. I cannot thank enough for the impact they’ve had in my writing development, encouraged all students to read narratives outside their identities and allowed (at least for me) black narratives to have part of the canon, and allow me to grow as a poet.

Did you do an Internship while at CSB/SJU? How did it help you?

I did an internship through CSB Student Development. I worked with underrepresented students through our Advocates for Inclusive Mentoring program. Throughout the program I would use my one on ones with students to write poems based off their personal lives and experiences. This internship worked concurrently with my Capstone (Race and Ethnicity) and allowed me to not just learn theory but add experience to my writing. This internship is directly what I do now in my current employment.

Did you do any Study Abroad programs or clubs when you were at CSB/SJU?

Women’s Initiative Rep and VP, RHA and RHHA: National Communications Coordinator, Cultural Affairs Board CSB-Chair and Secretary.

Why did you choose the profession that you chose?

I am the person I am because someone saw potential in me and didn’t want my unrepresented identities to allow me to fall through the cracks. I hope to do the same for others.

What is one piece of advice that you have for current students?

Take the Intro to Writing Workshop. Whether you take the poetry section or the fiction section, register for the class. There’s something powerful of turning your feelings to thoughts in a way that is healing. These classes will help you learn the basic/academic part of writing but will give you steppingstones to developing your own voice in whatever medium you use.

Have an update?

If you are an English grad, we would love to hear what you have been up to after college.

English Grad Update


Sydney Robinson ’19

Creative Writing Major

Sydney is currently working in the Intercultural and International Student Services as the Student Success Advocate. She provides day to day support for BIPOC and Q+ identifying students and their respective clubs. Focusing on the CSB side of things, she works with our Advocates for Inclusive Mentoring Scholars and the student employees for Institute for Women’s Leadership.

Some of her most recent works include:

  • “Someday I’ll Love this Body” and “The Devil Wears Prada, and Drinks Vodkas on Ice” featured in  Minnesota’s Best Emerging Poets 2019.
  • “The Heritage I Dreamt,” featured in Studio One 2019.
  • “When My History is an Elective,” Featured in Studio One 2018.
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University

Jessica Harkins
Chair, English Department
SJU Quad 350B

Laura Schmitz
Temporary Department Coordinator (Through spring 2024)
SJU Quad 362D/451