By Emily Gitten
We met with Hannah Robbins Hopkins to chat about the performing arts, her academic studies, and her time as a valued student employee.
Name: Hannah Robbins Hopkins
Year: Second-Year Masters Student
Job: Senior Student Associate for Campus and Community Engagement
Major: Information Studies/English
Information Studies and English is an interesting combination of majors. Tell us a little about that. I love getting to do interdisciplinary work, and I believe that my research is so much stronger for it. Most of my research deals with teenagers' communication practices in online spaces and the ways in which they are really making and shaping language in areas like social media. Being a part of a dual program means that we're able to engage with wonderful faculty and exciting research across several parts of campus.
What is your role at TPA? This is my second year as the Senior Student Associate for Campus & Community Engagement (CCE). Mostly, this means that I design lessons and instructional materials for schools as a part of the Performing Arts and Academic Connection program. This role gives me the opportunity to visit area schools to work with teachers and administrators as we're designing lessons. I also help design educational tours, coordinate events, and create other resources for CCE.
As someone who has such a passion for education and the arts, how do you feel the performing arts impacts the students in the audience? When students see themselves represented in the performing arts, there's an invitation to create their own dreams. Attending youth performances can help them to be inclusive, engaged, and considerate community members. As students are learning about self-expression, exposure to the arts can be instrumental in fostering healthy relationships.
What is your favorite thing about the performing arts? I love seeing students and new artists stretch themselves technically and creatively. Whether it's a new role as a stage manager or especially complex choreography, it's evident when students have put in the long hours of work and are truly proud of the results.
What is your favorite thing about working at TPA? Brenda Simms is really an incredible supervisor and leader. Every single day, she comes to work focused on teachers and students, finding the best ways to make them feel heard and supported. Brenda constantly stretches herself to better and more creatively serve schools and communities.