Professor Constance “Stanzi” Royden, of the mathematics and computer science department, will serve as Class Dean for the Class of 2024, joining Class Deans Matthew Eggemeier (2023), Patricia Kramer (2022), Paco Gago-Jover (2021) and John Anderson (2020).
“I’m excited about working with students across the college to help them discover how to make the most out of their Holy Cross education and to achieve academic success,” Royden says.
A member of the faculty since 2000, Professor Royden focuses her research on developing computer models of the neural mechanisms for human motion perception. She teaches a wide range of courses including data structures, computer science ethics, computer graphics and computational vision. Royden has developed multiple new courses for the computer science department and has advised numerous students on senior theses and summer research projects.
“I have also taught in Montserrat—our first-year program—in the honors program and in the Maymester program in Bangalore, India,” Royden explains. “These have given me experience teaching in a variety of ways, be it lecture, discussion or experiential learning, and they have allowed me to get to know students from across the campus who have many different interests and majors. I have also been a mentor in the College Mentor program and I have been a first year advisor for two years. I enjoy advising students and working with them to help them find their path to a successful college experience.”
As Class Dean for the Class of 2024, she will do more than just advise students during a single academic year—throughout the students’ four-year experience at Holy Cross, she’ll build a relationship with the class and observe and participate in the intellectual and personal development of the students. She has the responsibility to help connect students with resources tailored to where they are in their four-year journey. For example, as first-year students, they might be directed to offices on campus that provide workshops and support services on time management and study skills, identifying a curricular path, or building reflective habits. When they are seniors, she may offer support as they reflect on who they have become and what their next steps will be during their fourth year and ahead of their upcoming transition to the working world or graduate school.
The Class Dean role is just one of many available to students for support and guidance. Academic advisors and the Office of Academic Services and Learning Resources help with everything from course selection to academic progress and developing student interests into pathways. The Chaplains’ Office, Counseling Center, and other campus programs challenge students’ thinking and encourage paths self-discovery that will help shape the way they make a difference in the world. First-year students receive additional support through the Montserrat program, where many develop their first close relationships with the faculty who will act as both teachers and mentors for their time at Holy Cross. As students near graduation, they can turn to resources such as the Center for Career Development or the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies for practical assistance on identifying and successfully navigating the applications for programs or fellowships.
As for Royden, she knows the impact she can have as Class Dean because of her experience with mentors who have supported her throughout her career, and she’s ready to pay it forward. “I have had some wonderful mentoring in my career,” she says. “I’ve had college professors and advisors who helped me switch fields from engineering to neuroscience, gave sage career advice throughout my career, and served as role models, particularly on how to succeed as a woman in science. When I made changes in my career path, they encouraged me to follow the path that was right for me. I’m excited at the prospect of helping Holy Cross students find and succeed in their own paths.”
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