TEACHER | WRITER | ADVISOR
Hello! I’m Bethany J. Hopkins, PhD. I graduated from UC Davis with a PhD in History in 2015. Here’s a little bit about me and my work.
Storytelling is at the heart of everything I do. Whether it’s a history lecture, a news story, or a student resume, I am always looking to find the narrative that resonates.
I have been teaching college students since 2013, and I estimate that since then I have taught more than 700 students. If I can spark intellectual curiosity, encourage critical thinking, and foster an inclusive environment, I call that a successful classroom. Currently, I am an instructor for a course on careers and identity in American culture at UC Davis. I have also taught American women’s history, U.S. history, and California history at UC Davis, as well as U.S. women’s history at Solano Community College. Teaching is a form of educational storytelling, and I want my students to be as engaged in that story as possible.
Writing has always been a part of my professional life. I aim to make my written work clear, concise, and tailored to my audience. Currently, I am working on an academic book manuscript based on my dissertation The Fruit of Her Fields: California Women in Commercial Horticulture, 1870-1915. (Read my in the Western Historical Quarterly here [paywall] or read a post I wrote on the Rural Women’s Studies blog here) I have also written for a general audience. I was a reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press for two years, writing feature stories and breaking news. (Read some of my clips here.) In recent years, I told several personal stories at Shorts N Longs, a community storytelling event founded by Lisa Cantrell that I also hosted. (Listen to me emcee the event here, or tell a story here.) I love the challenge of finding just right the narrative arc to hold my audience’s attention from beginning to end.
Most recently, I’ve been working as an advisor, guiding students to craft their own stories in the form of meaningful work and career choices. As a senior career advisor at the UC Davis Internship and Career Center, I connect students to immersive educational experiences like internships that guide them on their career path. It’s a joy to encourage students as they challenges themselves to see these experiences as part of the larger narrative of their professional life.
Humans are narrative creatures. We understand ourselves through the stories we tell. I have found that a narrative approach to both work and life has served me well. After all, each of us has a story to tell.