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HCC’s Christina Royal to Keynote Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference

AMHERST — Organizers for the 2023 Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC) announced that Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College (HCC), will be the keynote speaker at the conference. The keynote is titled “Hacking Ourselves: Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning” and will examine the concept of unlearning, discuss its relevance to learning through a research-based lens, and challenge students to think differently about their approach to life and educational journey.

The 2023 conference will take place on Friday, April 28, and will be entirely virtual. Royal’s keynote will be presented virtually from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. on the conference day, with options for the public to view it through the MassURC website. Click here for more information and to register for the conference.

Royal has been president of HCC since 2017, and during her time there, HCC was named one of the top women-led businesses in Massachusetts in 2021 and 2022 by Boston Globe Magazine and the Women’s Edge, a nonprofit that supports top female business leaders. Royal, who is retiring from her post this spring, is also the first female, queer person of color to hold the position of president at HCC.

The MassURC is a one-day conference at which undergraduate students from the 28 public colleges and universities within the Commonwealth present research, share knowledge, and learn from fellow students. The conference serves to broaden attendees’ understanding of research, showcasing investigations in more than 60 subject areas, including biochemistry, history, architecture, marketing, fine art, and sociology.

“We are thrilled President Royal is this year’s keynote speaker. Her deep understanding of student success is inspiring to educators, and we look forward to her inspiring student researchers as well,” said Mari Castañeda, dean of Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst, which organizes and administers the conference on behalf of the state of Massachusetts.