Executive Director of Student Success Christina Burney has spent the last few years developing Stonehill College’s new Navigation Center for Student Success. This hub centralizes and streamlines Academic Advising, Accessibility Resources, Career Development, and Tutoring Services to support student’s holistic growth and academic success.  

“I work with four directors and an incredible team,” Burney said. “It’s important to acknowledge that building something like this doesn’t just involve one person. It takes everyone looking around, finding the right people, bringing them together, working collaboratively, and then rolling it out to students. The team is everything.” 

As Burney and her colleagues continue building the Navigation Center, here are 10 things to know about the seasoned Stonehill staffer. 

Prior to serving in her current role, Burney led the College’s career advising efforts as director of the Career Development Center.

1. She helps students get unstuck. Prior to serving in her current role, Burney led the College’s career advising efforts as director of the Career Development Center. She designed programs meant to help students and alumni fulfill their professional goals. “I like it when I feel like I’ve made an impact on somebody’s life,” she said. “If any part of our interaction helps them move forward, get unstuck, realize they have potential they didn’t know they had, or follow a dream they were afraid to pursue, I just love that.”  

2. She brings out the best in others. Burney believes it is her job to motivate her teammates. “I’m responsible for bringing the right people together and empowering them to do what they do best in a collaborative way with a constant focus on students,” she said. “I make sure they have the resources they need to shine in their roles.” 

3. She believes that slow and steady wins the race. Burney notes that working at Stonehill has taught her the importance of being patient and intentional. “At this college, we take our time to ask questions, share ideas and listen to each other, all in the interest of doing what is best for our students. It can take a little bit of time to get results, but that journey is worth it if it means doing right by everyone here.” 

4. She is charting a course toward tomorrow. Burney hopes to continue playing an important role in driving Stonehill’s growth. “Students and their needs shift as time goes on," she said. "I want to help the College evolve as it continues to provide students with what they need to be successful.”  

5. She is used to the fast pace of corporate America. Burney honed her ability to drive growth while serving in various human resources and college and diversity recruiting roles in the financial and technology industries earlier in her career. “Things move fast in in the corporate sector because they’re very driven by the bottom line and their shareholders,” she said. “That mindset teaches you how to pivot and innovate. I think that has served me well in higher education.” 

Burney has also held roles at State Street Corporation, iProspect and PTC.

6. She likes collaborating with young people. While working at State Street Corporation, Burney was responsible for managing campus recruiting events designed to attract college students interested in working for the financial services company. Stonehill was one of the schools she regularly visited as part of her efforts. “I’ve always been excited to work with students,” she said. “They’re at such a fascinating moment in their lives. They have so many opportunities to try new things. I like watching as they figure out who they want to be in this world.” 

7. Her approach is unique. Burney also worked in tech. She served as a client program manager with iProspect, a digital media agency. Additionally, she was a college recruiting specialist for PTC, a computer software and services company. “I’m proud that my early career experiences don’t match those of my friends or my colleagues in higher education,” she said. “I have a different voice and a unique way of approaching things because of my background.”  

8. She is a bibliophile. Burney rapidly consumes books when she is not working. “I’ll read just about anything, from biographies to romance novels,” she said. “It’s my escape, but also how I learn about the world.” Burney particularly enjoys The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho’s 1988 novel about a shepherd on a trek to the Egyptian pyramids. “I reread it a lot because there are different lessons you can take from that book depending on where you are in your life.” 

9. She is an aspiring author. Considering how much she enjoys reading, it makes sense that Burney would try her hand as a writer. “I always have it in my mind that I am going to publish something,” she said. “Every once in a while, I’ll open my laptop and start a novel of my own.”  

10. She unwinds by the ocean. Burney lives on Cape Cod with her husband, her teenage twins, two dogs and five chickens. “My family is everything to me. They are my support and my inspiration,” she said. Since they live so close to the beach, Burney spends a lot of time walking or relaxing by the water. 

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