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Central MA College Standout: Clark’s Shalyn Hopley

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

 

Clark senior Shalyn Hopley may be graduating this year, but she may very well be in college for the foreseeable future.

Shalyn Hopley is a senior at Clark University majoring in English with a Business Management Minor. The 21-year-old Princeton resident has been an extremely active student leader at Clark and serves currently as a Housing Complex Manager, Office Assistant in English Department, President of Stitch Club, Representative to the English Department Chair, former Summer Conference Assistant, and volunteer for Destination Imagination. Hopley has also been a Trustee Committee Liaison to Clark Undergraduate Student Council, Peer Learning Assistant, and Section Editor for STIR.

A conversation with Shalyn Hopley

SW: What are you planning to pursue when you graduate?

SH: Currently, I am hoping to find work in higher education and student affairs. When I came to Clark, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought I would be a teacher or maybe an editor. But because of my experiences in Residential Life and Housing, I think I’ve really found my passion in working with students outside the classroom. I’d love to have a Hall Director position for the next academic year. Regardless of whether that is what happens or not, I know I want to feel like I’m doing a little bit of good each day. That’s what I want for my future.

SW: What is your course of study and what drew you to it?

SH: I’m an English major. I knew that was what I was going to be when I went to college. It’s my passion. I love storytelling and narrative. It’s how I think and make connections.

SW: What has been your most memorable course or professor?

SH: Every year the English Department has a course in the Fall semester called Capstone, and it is required for every senior English major. It was by far my most memorable course. The professor was amazing, and she taught me so much about research, about English as a field, and about what I can do after I leave Clark. I still think about the questions she posed to my class on a daily basis.

SW: You have taken on a lot of leadership roles at campus. What has been the most meaningful?

SH: I’ve done a lot on campus, mostly because I could not stick to just one thing; my activities tend to vary from year to year. But I think the biggest leadership role I have taken on so far is being a Housing Complex Manager, which is like an elevated Resident Advisor. I get to have direct residents and do all the stuff I did as an RA, but I also work on more administrative things, like department initiatives. I love being a Housing Complex Manager the most, because I get to be in touch with all the RAs on campus. When I was an RA in a building, I rarely saw other RAs across campus. Now since I do campus rounds on the weekends, I get to see them all.

SW: How have you been involved in the community?

SH: I’ve lived near Worcester almost all my life but never really embraced it until I came to college. It began with my internship at Worcester Magazine the summer after my sophomore year. It encouraged me to get out there and find things I love to do in Worcester. You may need to look for it, but it is out there! I found my Worcester niche not in writing and journalism but instead in volunteering. I have volunteered as a Hotline Counselor with Pathways for Change and with Destination Imagination, an international student-driven performing arts and problem-solving program. They are two very different types of volunteering, but I like how they complement each other. I get to help a lot of different people and do a lot of different things.

SW: Where do you like to go in the area?

SH: I go to Zumba in Holden. It is free, and the instructors are wonderful. It is my weekly excursion—something I do just for me.

SW: What are you passionate about?

SH: English. Books. Residential Life. Zumba. Good food.

SW: What is one thing you have learned about yourself since becoming a college student?

SH: I’ve learned that I’m capable of more than I could have imagined. I spent a lot of high school being really afraid—afraid of failure, afraid of other’s perception, just generally afraid. I’m still afraid a lot, but I don’t let it stop me. In fact, sometimes it makes me more motivated to do something. Because of that, I have done more than I thought I would be able to do. I’ve lost and kept off over fifty pounds. I’ve kept a 4.0 GPA up to now. I’ve gotten a tattoo. I went on my first date. I wrote an honors thesis. I did not know I could do all that when I came to Clark.

SW: What is your favorite quote?

SH: “If you surrender to the air, you can ride it.” –Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. This quote has stuck with me since I read it in high school. To me, it is about letting go and letting something take you where it will.

SW: What is your favorite book or movie?

SH: I never pick the same favorite book twice, but my favorite movie always stays the same: The Princess Bride. It is my favorite and it always will be. There is something so beautiful and funny and witty about it all. My family quotes it all the time.

SW: What or who has had the greatest influence on you to date?

SH: My family, both sides of it. I have a huge family, and they are all very close. My dad’s side of the family has taught me the value of intellect, the importance of confidence and preparedness, and the love of good food and long lakeside walks. My mom’s side has taught me the joy of laughter, the solace of embraces and shared memories, and the value of not worrying so much. My family is the key to understanding who I am.

SW: What would someone be surprised to learn about you?

SH: I think people are most shocked to learn that I have four siblings, three of which are under the age of five. There is Natasha (19) who goes to Clark with me, Gabriel (4), Amelia (3), and William (1). It is hard to imagine that Amelia and Will weren’t even born when I came to Clark.

SW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

SH: I’d like to be working in a university, probably still in Residential Life but maybe in Disability Services, Alumni Affairs, or Academic Advising. I’d like to have grad school already behind me in five years, if only to not have to take the GREs again! It is funny to say I still see myself in college in five years, but that is what I see. I’d be happy with that.

SW: If you could do just one thing, locally, nationally or globally to make a difference, what would it be?

SH: I’d make more protected left turns along Main Street and Park Avenue. Just kidding! (Although seriously, I do hate driving in Worcester) If I could do one thing, I think it would be to make education beyond high school—be it vocational training or traditional higher education or whatever—more accessible for everyone.

 

Central MA College Standout is a weekly feature that profiles college and university students in Central MA. Join us every Tuesday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of today’s local college student. If you have suggestions for a profile, email [email protected].

Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.

 

Related Slideshow: Top New England Colleges According to Business Insider

See how New England colleges ranked in the latest Business Insider.

Below is the list of how the region's representatives stacked up against each other -- as well as how they fared overall.  

Prev Next

#13 Wesleyan University

Overall Rank: 49

Location: Middletown, CT

Score: 2.73 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $47,244

Business Insider: "With roughly 2,900 undergraduates on a 316-acre campus overlooking the Conn. River, Wesleyan uses its small size to provide highly personal faculty support and customizable programs of study to students.

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#12 Boston University

Overall Rank: 45

Location: Boston, MA

Score: 2.79 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $44,910

Business Insider: "A concrete campus located in the bustling city of Boston, BU has nearly 100 study abroad programs in 23 countries, an active social media presence with more than 200 Facebook pages and groups, and 20-plus NCAA Division I varsity sports, including a multiple NCAA national championship-winning hockey team."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#11 Wellesley College

Overall Rank: 44

Location: Wellesley, MA

Score: 2.86 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $43,544

Business Insider: "Madeleine Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Diane Sawyer are among the nearly 37,000 living alumni of Wellesley College, an institute with an unwavering commitment to empowering women to make a difference in the world. Students are central to decision-making at this liberal arts college: They serve on major committees of the board of trustees, participate in faculty search, and contribute to strategic planning."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.

Prev Next

#10 Middlebury College

Overall Rank: 40

Location: Middlebury, VT

Score: 2.94 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $57,075

Business Insider: "Renowned for leadership in language instruction and environmental studies, Middlebury emphasizes close interaction between students and faculty as the core of its education. All courses are taught by faculty members, rather than graduate assistants, and 65% of classes contain fewer than 20 students."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#9 Tufts University

Overall Rank: 37

Location: Medford, MA

Score: 3.07 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $46,598

Business Insider: "Tufts University encourages students to pursue interdisciplinary studies at its two colleges, the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering. An overwhelming 90% of students are enrolled in the first, which boasts a liberal arts college feel in a research-rich environment."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#8 Boston College

Overall Rank: 36

Location: Boston, MA

Score: 3.09 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $46,088

Business Insider: "Boston College jumps four spots on our list, thanks in part to its tremendous growth in recent years. Undergraduate applications have soared 75% over the past decade, and voluntary giving by alumni has increased the university's endowment to $1.9 billion."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#7 Amherst College

Overall Rank: 27

Location: Amherst, MA

Score: 3.31 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $58,744

Business Insider: "Ranked the second-best liberal arts school in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report, Amherst College climbed four spots on our list this year."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#6 Williams College

Overall Rank: 23

Location: Williamstown, MA

Score: 3.40 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $46,600

Business Insider: "Williams was number 27 on last year's list, but our readers voted it up to No. 23 this time around. A top liberal arts college, Williams is set to host its own TEDx conference for students and faculty in January 2014."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#5 Brown University

Overall Rank: 20

Location: Providence, RI

Score: 3.60 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $45,612

Business Insider: "Brown is known for being the most individualistic of the Ivies, and with some of the happiest students."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#4 Dartmouth College

Overall Rank: 9

Location: Hanover, NH

Score: 3.96 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $46,752

Business Insider: "At 4,200 enrolled undergraduate students, Dartmouth is the smallest of the Ivies. But its size has no bearing on the prestige of its programs; the school was ranked No. 1 in undergraduate teaching courses by U.S. News & World Report for the fourth year in a row."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#3 Yale University

Overall Rank: 5

Location: New Haven, CT

Score: 4.25 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $44,125

Business Insider: "Our readers were not shy in praising Yale's hardworking professors: 'Yale is still the best ranking... school thanks to it[s] high profile faculty," one respondent pointed out. 'It's them who keep Yale in the top.'"

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.
Prev Next

#2 Harvard University

Overall Rank: 3

Location: Cambridge, MA

Score: 4.42 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $42,292

Business Insider: "For the third year in a row, Harvard has held fast at No. 3. Harvard's most popular majors (or "concentrations," as they're called there) are economics and political science, and the Crimson school has been hailed for its think-outside-the-box approach to learning."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.

Prev Next

#1 MIT

Overall Rank: 1

Location: Cambridge, MA

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Tuition and Fees: $42,050

Business Insider: "The tech school admits fewer than 9 percent of applicants, some of whom have gone on to achieve prestigious awards like Nobel Prizes, National Medals of Science, MacArthur Grants, and National Medals of Technology and Innovation."

Business Insider's rating is scored out of 5 and is based on the results of a 1,000-person reader survey that asked how much each college will help students succeed in life. Tuition was used as a tiebreaker, with cheaper tuition pushing a school to a higher spot.

 
 

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