Robyn Sutton-Fernandez

Robyn Sutton-Fernandez, '14

Resides in: 

Holyoke, Mass.; originally from Long Beach, N.Y.


Liberal Arts


President, STRIVE Mentor Club; HCC Players; Green Key Honor Society

Favorite course/teacher:

My Honors Colloquium, "The Power of Nightmares," with professors Diane Beers and Deb Fairman. That was a very powerful class, about how society cultivates fear. I learned a lot about how I look at television and how I watch the news. I'm able to look at things through a different lens than I did before. In my research paper, I looked at how media perpetuates fear among women related to body image, focusing on African-American women and eating disorders.

Most meaningful encounter at HCC:

I've been blessed to have two very strong women as my advisors: Irma Medina (coordinator of Pathways) and Joan Giovannini (coordinator of STRIVE). I think that is the reason I've been so successful here, because they believed in me and kept pushing me and challenging me. Those have been really meaningful relationships for me.

Why does education matter to you?

I am the first generation to go to college in my family, even though I'm doing it at 40. I've done restaurant management and retail. I just felt there was more to me. I was okay in high school, I just never thought I was college worthy. It's important to me now to let the next generation of my family know that they can be successful if they stick to school.

What was your favorite thing about HCC?

Acting in the play Middletown last spring. It opened up a light inside of me, and now I don't want to stop doing theater. I didn't have confidence going in. I thought, I'll just audition for ha-ha's and then when I got a part, it made me see that I can take on this challenge and rise up to it. I always loved theater and always wanted to do theater but I was always scared I wasn't good enough. It was a great experience and I loved every minute of it, from beginning to end.

Advice for fellow students?

Ask for help. I think it's that simple. Talk to you advisor. Go to the Writing Center. No one can do it alone, and the resources are here and open and free.

Where are you going from here?

I'm studying Integrated Arts at Mount Holyoke College. My goal is to work for a nonprofit or eventually create my own nonprofit to help women and children find healing through the arts.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040