Springboard to PR Success

Chris Boyle ’92 describes himself as a “late bloomer” while looking back on his successful career path into the field of public relations.

A resident of Wallingford, Chris graduated from Lyman Hall in 1984 and wasn’t sure where to go for college or what career to pursue at that time. He had interests in the communications field as well as in commercial art and graphic design. Chris did not find any appeal in a four-year university at first, so he enrolled at Middlesex Community College as a commercial art major. Admitting to a lack of interest in the fine arts aspect of the curriculum, Chris left Middlesex in the fall of 1985 and began working for a local engineering firm.

Chris Boyle at news conferenceAt age 24, Chris was engaged to his girlfriend Michelle and felt a need to continue his education with the goal of a career in a field that he could feel passionate about—that field would be one of his original interests—corporate communications and public relations. That mindset led him back to Middlesex and the school’s communication arts degree. In January 1991, he returned on a part-time basis to “salvage” some of the credits that he already earned. Chris liked that he could easily commute to the Middletown campus, tuition was affordable, and that the college offered a high-quality curriculum.

“Middlesex is a great place to go to find out what you want to study or do for a career, especially if you’re not sure,” Chris explained. “It gives people who are taking baby steps in their educational choices the support toward starting a career. Not everyone knows what path to take, and Middlesex is great at guiding that path. I will always be grateful to Middlesex as the springboard to the success that I have experienced.”

As an Middlesex student, Chris remembers engaging in encouraging conversations with communication professor John Shafer. “I enjoyed such a positive teaching environment at Middlesex—the school truly plays a vital role for people looking to complete an associate degree,” Chris said.

“It’s the kind of teaching that stands out. I remember taking an oceanography course when the entire class showed up for a field trip in a tug boat—on a Saturday!” Chris recalled. “The class was a great mix of ages, as we socialized together that day while learning about ocean life.”

After graduating in 1992, Chris transferred his credits from Middlesex to Southern Connecticut State University, and, in 1995—at age 28—he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations.

Chris’ career path includes a role at the Meriden Record-Journal, and then he served in public relations/media relations positions at Danbury Hospital and Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. He currently is the director of public relations at Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group, a position he has held since 2012.

“Education is so expensive these days. I highly encourage attending schools like Middlesex to high school and adult students whom I talk to. It’s the difference between graduating with a car payment instead of a mortgage payment,” Chris said. “I was looking for affordable, hands-on, high-quality education, and I found that at Middlesex.”

Chris and Michelle Boyle have been married for more than 27 years, and the couple have three children, Joseph, 23, Annemarie, 18, and Anthony, 15. While he admits his career since high school has had it highs and lows, he had nothing but fond memories of Middlesex.

“Today, I just look back and smile,” he said.

August 2018
Written by Thea Moritz
Update 2023: Since June 2021, Chris has been serving as the director of communications for the state of Connecticut Department of Health.