A parent’s story - Cindy Kistenberg's son flourished at Lynn University

December 2019

Cindy Kistenberg is fiercely proud of her son David Czarlinsky ’19. He completed his Lynn University communications and emerging media degree in just three years. Today he pursues a master’s in brand and media strategy at East Tennessee State University.


When Czarlinsky began looking at colleges, Kistenberg admits she was worried.

“David was a varsity athlete in high school and very active in the community, but he wasn’t as strong academically. I worried about his chances of getting into a good school.”

As a faculty member at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and as a single parent, Kistenberg wanted her son to apply to at least one school in the Council of Independent Colleges Tuition Exchange program. “I couldn’t provide much financial assistance, and I didn’t want him to graduate with a mountain of debt,” she said.

Although David had his heart set on attending a Division I school like the University of North Carolina, his mother’s alma mater, he agreed to take a tour of Lynn while visiting his grandparents in nearby Boynton Beach.

“The individualized attention he received on that visit, coupled with what he saw and the people he met, convinced him not to look anywhere else,” said Kistenberg.

Personal connections inspire achievements

Once at Lynn, her son flourished.

“The stars aligned—I don’t know any other way to say it,” said Kistenberg. “David found his niche, took advantage of every opportunity and ran with it.”

Kistenberg believes Lynn’s size and hands-on approach to education were exactly what her son needed. As a teacher, Kistenberg encourages students to make connections with people who can help them develop throughout their university and early careers. Her son did exactly that, and she believes Lynn's faculty and staff were encouraging and helped him succeed at every turn.

Vice President for Business and Finance Laurie Levine was an especially valuable resource for Kistenberg’s son. “Laurie encouraged David to join the Lynn Leadership Institute and introduced him to people who could help him pursue his interests in leadership and sports.”

In addition to participating in the Leadership Institute, Czarlinsky served as both a residential assistant and community advisor, broadcasted softball and baseball games, worked in the student government and organized events. He also excelled in the classroom, graduating with academic honors.

“David received several awards for his achievements while at Lynn,” said Kistenberg. “At graduation, he also received the Trustees’ Medal.”

Dr. Cindy Kistenberg poses with her son, David Czarlinsky, at commencement

Behind students’ success

“The cost of a college education these days is exorbitant, so if you’re sending a child to college, you want to make sure they will get the skills and experience they need to realize success after graduating,” said Kistenberg. “Lynn delivers. The faculty, staff and administration are there to help students attain their goals.”

Kistenberg noted Lynn’s ranking in The Chronicle of Higher Education’sannual list of ‘Great Colleges to Work For.’ “Lynn consistently ranks highly, and that impresses me,” she said. “If people are happy, they’re going to do more for the students.”


“Lynn’s community members give so much to students … physically, emotionally, intellectually,” she said. “I would be happy to talk to any parent or student considering Lynn—I feel that strongly about the impact Lynn had on David’s life.”

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