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believe that having partnerships with business and industry and the community is essential
for an institution of higher education to thrive. Likewise, for a community with a community college to thrive, it needs to have a strong community college. I look at it as a bi-directional relationship and partnership.”
Since her arrival, there have been a number
But while those new facilities are in many ways quiet, they form some of the building blocks that will support continued growth for decades to come.
No one can say with any degree of certainly when a sense of ‘normal’ will return to college campuses — HCC has already announced that most all classes will be taught remotely next
“Distance learning is here to stay. And even if we have a smaller number of students on one end of the spectrum, wanting to take everything online, we have a lot of opportunity in that middle space of how we blend our in-person courses with hybrid learning.
“What’s so great about this time is that we have faculty members who are experimenting with ways to utilize this technology to more effectively reach their students and enable them to complete the work,” she went on. “And when you think about combining that with the pedagogy of the traditional classroom and their expertise in that setting, I imagine there’s going to be some wonderful opportunities to grow the blended student experience.”
Career Milestone
In 2021, HCC will celebrate its 75th anniversary.
At this time, no one, including Royal, can say when and how that milestone will be celebrated. But she does know it will be a time to look back at what’s been achieved, but, more importantly, focus on what will come next and how the school can do more to serve its communities and its students.
That’s what Royal has done since she’s arrived in Holyoke. It’s a mindset that has made her a great leader — at all times, and especially during these times.
And it has also made her one of this year’s Women of Impact. u
George O’Brien can be reached at [email protected]
 “What’s so great about this time is that we have faculty members who are experimenting with ways to utilize this technology to more effectively reach their students and enable them to complete the work.”
of significant developments at the school, including a $44 million project to modernize and revitalize an antiquated Campus Center, the so-called ‘heart’ of the college, a new Center for Life Sciences, and the creation of the HCC MGM Culinary Arts Institute in the Cubit building, which opened its doors to considerable fanfare in early 2019.
Ironically, the new campus center staged its elaborate grand opening just a few weeks before the pandemic shut down college campuses across the Commonwealth. Meanwhile, the Culinary Arts Institute, while still operating
on some levels, has seen a dramatic decrease
in interest among prospective students as
the pandemic has devastated the hospitality industry.
spring — but Royal, as noted, is working to have her school ready for that day.
“I want us to look at this moment in time
as an opportunity, and focus not just on the things that are outside of our control, but the things that we do have the ability to control,” she explained, noting that the questions and comments offered by students during those aforementioned check-ins are certainly helping in this process of continuous improvement and readying for life after COVID-19.
“When that day arrives, there will be a much- anticipated return to the classroom,” she noted, adding quickly, however, that the pandemic
has proven there is certainly a place for remote learning and that it will be a big part of the equation moving forward.
  Celebrating Women of Impact
Epstein Financial Services applauds the outstanding achievement of Christina Royal, President of Holyoke Community College, for her amazing contributions to education in the valley and service to our community. Congratulations
to her and all the honorees.
  A Registered Investment Advisory Firm | 413.224.3606 IMPACT
Women of Women of IMPACT
Charlie Epstein, Governor Charlie Baker, Christina Royal
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