Christina Royal

2020-21 Aspen New Presidents Fellow
Dr. Christina Royal currently serves as the president of Holyoke Community College in the Massachusetts system of higher education. Prior to her presidency, she served as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Inver Hills Community College in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. As the chief academic officer, her responsibility was to provide leadership to ensure that all students have access to high-quality learning experiences that serve their individual needs and support their educational goals for degree completion, transfer, employment, or lifelong learning.

Dr. Royal has been intentional in her career in serving the community college mission. Growing up as a first generation, low-income, biracial college student, she understands some of the challenges our students face and the importance of having an inclusive environment where everyone can thrive. She believes that our students must see aspects of themselves represented in the college in order to form a connection to the institution. It is this diversity that creates a culturally rich ecosystem of learning.

Her success as a leader throughout her career has stemmed from a future-oriented mindset coupled with an approach based on collaboration and teamwork. Prior to Inver Hills, Dr. Royal served as the associate vice president of eLearning and innovation at Cuyahoga Community College, and had district-wide oversight over one of the largest distance learning programs in Ohio.

Dr. Royal is engaged in local, state, and national communities of interest, including participating on several boards. Dr. Royal is the recipient of the 2012 United States Distance Learning Association International Award for Outstanding Leadership by an Individual.

Dr. Royal earned a doctorate in education from Capella University, and a master of arts degree in educational psychology and a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics, both from Marist College.