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Great Starts: Katie Hopkins ’19
Portrait of student Katie Hopkins

Great Starts: Katie Hopkins ’19

From time to time, we like to showcase a new SNC grad who’s entered the workplace or grad school. Success stories like these are pretty common. In fact, 95 percent of SNC's Class of 2022 alumni who responded to a survey said they were employed, in grad school or doing service work within nine months of graduating.

Hometown: De Pere, Wis.
Graduation year: 2019
Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Plans after graduation: Katie is attending Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles beginning in August 2019.

What's next after graduation?

I’m pursuing an Master of Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University. I was accepted into the film and TV production program, which I guess is pretty difficult to get into. They rank eighth in the top film schools in the country. I would love to direct a film. I would also love to teach eventually, and I think I can do both!

How did you land at St. Norbert?

I transferred here from the University of Minnesota after taking a semester off. I’m from De Pere so when I originally looked at colleges, I was not going to consider St. Norbert. It was too close to home! Looking back, I was kind of foolish for not looking here because I’ve had a great experience.

What else surprised you about your St. Norbert experience?

I didn’t know I was an artist until I took an art class here. Professor John Gordon took me under his wing, invested the time and started teaching me oil painting on his days off. I was honored. Eventually, I decided to double-major in English and art.

What other professors influenced you?

So many. I love all the professors! I honestly could talk about them day and night. On the first day of class with Professor Egan-Ryan, I knew I wanted her to be my advisor. She spends a lot of time going above and beyond for all students, making sure they get where they want to go. Shan Bryan-Hanson was my painting professor for many classes, and my boss when I worked in the galleries. She was the first to write a letter of recommendation for me. And Professor Katie Ries: She was adamant that students should be paid for their work. I started taking on art commissions because of her business mindset. Also, Professor Brandon Bauer – I made my first short film in his class and he recommended me for grad school. At St. Norbert, you really get a community of professors behind you.

How were you involved outside the classroom?

I got to illustrate a published children’s book! I was asked to illustrate the GLAD Camp book published through SNC, and it was something I’ve always wanted to do. I learned a lot working with the art director, like the best ways to draw certain elements and how to stage illustrations. I spent two months illustrating, which is a pretty short amount of time, especially while being a full-time student. It was stressful, but the good kind of stressful where I knew it would be worth it in the end. I was also co-editor of Graphos, the student-run literary magazine, for one year. As a transfer student, that was a great way to meet people and integrate into the campus.

What else stands out about your academic experience?

I’ve always been interested in film, but I never thought it was something I could do – because I am from a small Wisconsin town! And so it just never crossed my mind. But at the encouragement of my professors, I looked at opportunities in California. Last summer I did an animation residency at CalArts in Santa Clarita. I found out that animation wasn’t something I wanted to do, but then I made the switch to film. I made a short film and got accepted into grad school on the basis of my film, but also on my writing, which they said was really strong.