We are thrilled that Dr. Chandra Owenby Hopkins is the Converse recipient of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) 2020 Excellence in Teaching award!
SCICU annually recognizes one faculty member from each of their twenty member institutions across South Carolina. The nominees are liberal arts institution leaders, dedicated to students, not just as faculty, but also as advisers, mentors, and friends.
SCICU 2020 Excellence in Teaching recipients are passionate, creative, and inspiring professionals: all qualities that Dr. Hopkins exudes in an exemplary manner. She works tirelessly as a mentor and continues to empower Converse students striving for personal and professional success.
President Krista L. Newkirk said, “Dr. Hopkins creates an educational experience that extends beyond the classroom and the theatre. Her students have developed friendships with, and a greater understanding of the lifetime experiences of, the older generations in our community. She provides not only a wonderful educational experience but also an emotional and social development opportunity that is invaluable to our students.”
An award-winning teacher and scholar, Dr. Hopkins has received the Cato Award for Faculty Excellence from Converse College and the Robert A. Schanke Theatre Research Award from the Mid-America Theatre Conference. She received a grant from the AARP and the Council of Independent Colleges to develop and direct the production, Growing Old: Food and Oral History in Performance. She serves as a faculty athletics representative, creating policies and new initiatives to ensure success for student-athletes. She has taught within the Nisbet Honors program and is a strong advocate for Converse’s School of the Arts.
Dr. Hopkins received her bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Brenau University, her Master of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Studies from the University of Kansas. As an actor, director, and dramaturg, she has worked with the Richmond Triangle Players, Kansas Summer Theatre, Georgia Shakespeare, and Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Her directing and teaching approach honors each student and creates an environment that encourages and expects students to be active partners in learning through personal accountability. In addition, she has created courses in public speaking and interdisciplinary studies that teach students transferable skills useful for any career field.
Converse College recently announced Dr. Hopkins will be the first Dean of the Converse College for Women, beginning July 1, 2021. In this role, Dr. Hopkins will lead the programmatic planning for the new Women’s College and will develop the signature experiences and possible courses that will distinguish the Women’s College within Converse University.
You can read more about Dr. Hopkins on the SCICU website.