Road work is ongoing. View our road/parking lot closure map.


Strategic Plan Refresh Summit

DATE: Monday, November 22, 2021

TIME: 2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.



Join us as we envision the future of Holyoke Community College! The Refresh Summit will bring together staff, faculty, students and community members to learn about and discuss future trends associated with the key opportunities we identified in the Strategic Planning Refresh Reflection Sessions. 

A virtual mini-conference; the Summit will engage the audience in "Ed Talks" by colleagues in higher ed to garner baseline knowledge on the hottest topics to be considered by HCC as we look toward our future. Participants in the Summit will then break into small workgroups to apply their learning relative to the College's future, and to develop impact statements that will inform the review of our current strategies and help us to develop our next set of objectives. Audience members will be able to express a preference for their topics of interest from those listed below and then be assigned to a specific breakout group for discussion.

All participants in the Summit will see all four of the speaker presentations listed below, then disperse into breakout groups to talk about one of the four topics. After reviewing speaker sessions below, use the RSVP form to pick your first and second choice of breakout session topics no later than Thursday, November 18th.

Summit Topics 

The Changing World of Work: What Employers and Students Need from Community Colleges
Dr. Barbara Endel, Senior Program Director, Jobs for the Future

Pathways to Success: Innovative Strategies to Enhance Enrollment and Retention
Dr. Michael Baston, President, Rockland Community College

Education Today and Tomorrow:Maintaining the Personal Touch in a High-Tech Learning Environment
Dr. Robert Talbert, Professor of Mathematics, Grand Valley State University

KEYNOTE: Reimagining the Community College of the Future: Deconstructing and Redesigning Structures to Ensure Equitable Outcomes
Dr. Christine Garcia, Assistant Professor of English, Eastern Connecticut State University

Refresh Summit Agenda
2:00 PM Welcome remarks from HCC President Dr. Christina Royal
2:15 - 3:30 PM.  Ed Talk - Four Dynamic Speakers
3:35 - 4:20 PM Ed Talk Breakout Sessions
4:25 - 4:30 PM   Next Steps in Strategic Planning and Concluding Remarks

Speaker Bios

Photo of speaker Barbara EndelBarbara Endel, PhD
Senior Advisor, Jobs for the Future 

Barbara Endel has worked for over 20 years specializing ways to support community colleges and their leaders with innovation, ultimately leading to stronger outcomes for under prepared adult learners. Given students entering today's job market will switch jobs 17 times over 5 sectors, Dr. Endel is focusing on connecting community colleges and their employer partners to the shifting demands and the impacts of the Future of Work. Barbara has published research, such as What Works for Adult Learners, a meta-analysis of career pathways and has teamed up with the US Department of Education, Tyson Foods, and other states like CA and FL to inform equity-driven postsecondary career pathways. Dr. Endel has spoken nationally and internationally on systems-building and the Future of Work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Wooster (OH) and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Barbara resides in Northampton, MA.

Photo of speaker Michael BastonDr. Michael A. Baston
President, Rockland Community College

Dr. Baston is a national thought leader amplifying the role community colleges play in redefining educational success, leading diversity, equity, and inclusion campus-wide reform efforts, and developing executive leadership teams. Dr. Baston has led Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York, as its president since 2017. Under Dr. Baston's leadership, he helped RCC launch a Hospitality and Culinary Arts Center, a new guided pathway influenced academic school model, Career and English Skills Academies to address middle-skills workforce needs, and secured $30 million in grant, capital, and other fundraising efforts, including back-to-back Title V Developing Hispanic-Serving Institution awards, the largest grants in RCC history. Dr. Baston's Steps Beyond Statements Initiative has helped to signal specific steps that educational institutions can take to foster inclusive excellence. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the primary advocacy organization for the nation's community colleges. Dr. Baston is also a contributing author to Race, Education, and Reintegrating Formerly Incarcerated Citizens, and the Handbook for Student Affairs in Community Colleges.

Photo of speaker Robert TalbertDr. Robert Talbert
Grand Valley State University

Robert Talbert is Professor of Mathematics at Grand Valley State University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University, and Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University where he did his dissertation on algebraic topology and homological algebra. Robert taught in small liberal arts colleges for 14 years before arriving at GVSU in 2011, where he teaches a wide range of courses, conducts research in undergraduate mathematics education, and serves on the faculty senate. He is the author Flipped Learning: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty (Stylus, 2017) and is a frequent workshop facilitator and keynote speaker on teaching and learning in the US and abroad. During the 2017-2018 academic year, Robert spent a sabbatical year as scholar-in-residence with Steelcase Education, where he conducted research and outreach on active learning and active learning spaces. He currently serves as Presidential Fellow for the Advancement of Learning at GVSU, where he works to expand innovative high-impact teaching and learning practices across the university. He writes about math, technology, education, and academic productivity at his website, Robert lives in Allendale, with his wife, three teenage kids, and four cats.

Photo of speaker Christine GarciaDr. Christine Garcia
Eastern Connecticut State University

Christine Garcia is an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic. She earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in English Language and Literature from Angelo State University in her hometown of San Angelo, Texas. While in her Master's program, Dr. Garcia taught core writing courses including Basic Writing, and this experience led her to shift her graduate studies from Literature to Rhetoric and Composition. Once in her PhD, Dr. Garcia focused on Latinx language, literacy, and sociocultural issues, writing her dissertation on Chicana civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. As an Assistant Professor at ECSU, Dr. Garcia is the Director of First Year Writing and teaches a range of courses, including Latinx Rhetoric and Civil Rights Rhetoric. She also actively teaches in the Summer Transition Program, Eastern's bridge program for incoming first year students needing extra preparation before beginning their first Fall semester. Pedagogically, Dr. Garcia is invested in higher education teaching and learning as a liberatory practice, not as a mechanism for gatekeeping.