Argosy’s Patrice Cizmar Prepares Students for Next Steps to Success in Argosy’s New Master of Law in Compliance Program
When Patrice Cizmar graduated with her law degree from Rutgers University, she hit the ground running. She served as a Superior Court law clerk and legal researcher. She operated her own law practice. She served as an Equal Housing Opportunity advocate, facilitated bankruptcy workshops, and taught law.
After stints as a legal studies professor, department head and campus president, Cizmar says she gravitated to a place and a position she loves: working one-on-one with people to help them succeed. Since 2010, she’s been an Argosy University admissions advisor, helping students navigate the admissions process and launch—or relaunch—their college careers.
“I’m one of those lucky people who loves what I do,” says Cizmar. “My job
is to guide students through the process of getting into college—and
succeeding once they’re here. I get to be a mentor, a coach, an advocate,
and a guide. I’m a counselor, a cheerleader, and a sounding board. My goal
is to make sure incoming Argosy students have a great experience throughout
the enrollment process. I assist them with federal financial aid and answer
whatever questions they have along the way. If I don’t know the answer,
I’ll track it down.”
Cizmar is currently focused on advising and enrolling students in Argosy’s new Master of Law in Compliance program . It’s an online program designed to teach non-lawyer professionals to manage and minimize legal risk for employers and clients in the health care field. She says her job isn’t only to enroll new students, but to help ensure that those who are accepted to Argosy can be successful and persist to graduation.
Cizmar says she’s passionate about helping students take their next steps and knows the journey isn’t always easy. Many Argosy students return to college after years in the workforce. She says three obstacles often stand in the way of pursuing a degree: time, money, and fear.
“Two of those obstacles—time and finances—are legitimate,” says Cizmar. “I assist students with time management, applying for aid, and building their confidence. I think fear is often rooted in a lack of self-confidence, and my experience is that confidence can be developed and nurtured through preparation. Going to college can be challenging. If it weren’t, everyone would do it.”
Cizmar says she admires students who face their fears and do it anyway.
“As a mother of a special needs child, I know that life isn’t always easy,” she says. “That’s why I love the opportunity to encourage and empower students to take their best shot and go for it. I’ve worked with students who have never had their own email address, but who made the commitment to enroll for an online degree and trusted we would figure it out together. I work with students who are returning to college 30 years after graduating high school. That takes guts—and I admire it.”
“Many years ago, Theodore Roosevelt observed that ‘nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care,’” says Cizmar. “It’s really true. The trust and connection I develop with students is the foundation on which everything else is built. They know I care, and just having someone in their corner who believes in them can make all the difference.” ###