How well do you know your SoC professors? Dr. Mark Hopson serves as a Professor and Graduate Admissions Director in the School of Communication. He is also the Senior Director of Ethnic Studies Programs and has been at Chapman University since 2021. In this short time, he has made his impact on the school by hosting discussions with influential leaders in the community, such as Craig Robinson, Van Lathan, Dr. Rosa Perez-Isiah, and E. Patrick Johnson. Prior to joining Chapman, Dr. Hopson held a faculty position and served as Director of African and African American Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. He also served on the university’s 2020 Taskforce on Anti-Racism and Inclusive Excellence for the Office of the President. Dr. Hopson has facilitated workshops and seminars for more than 5,000 youth and adult learners nationally, including Changing Lives Through Literature for Fairfax County Public Library. CLTL is a nationally recognized alternative sentencing program.

How did your career begin?

“My career began with my interest in communication. Upon completing my BA degree, I worked in public education and violence prevention for youth and young adults. I noticed that communication was a key element for each job. My awareness was heightened when I began taking graduate classes. I began to connect the dots regarding culture’s impact on the communication process.”

What advice would you give students currently job-seeking?

“Cast a wide net when considering jobs, organizations, and regions. You may discover multiple opportunities to develop your interests and skill set. Be open to new experiences. Build on each experience. In terms of practical advice: Show up on time, be consistent, and enjoy to the best of your ability.”

What benefits did continuing your education have on your career?

“My education has enabled me to think for a living. I get to combine creative, urgent, and wide-ranging ideas for the purpose of societal health and well-being.”

Any advice on how to succeed in job interviews?

“Take time to prepare for the interview. Be honest about your intentions and potential contributions. And remember, less is more.”

How do you navigate networking?

“I have benefitted greatly from networking. Years ago, I did not realize the value, but I appreciate professional networking now more than ever. Lessons learned include the following:

Our interests, expertise, and experiences can be a resource to others.

Consistency is key. Less is more. Relationships take time. Make the investment. Be prepared for the opportunity. Be pleasant.”

Thank you, Dr. Hopson, for sharing your wisdom with us.  –> Connect with Dr. Hopson on LinkedIn.

Dr. Hopson giving a master class lecture at Chapman’s Homecoming celebration in 2022.