M.A., SMU; completed Rice University's Publishing Program
Vanessa Hopper's professional joy is teaching critical thinking and writing within courses crafted to address issues of relevance to all citizens. Particular areas of focus include the legacy of war and revolution, justice, the forms and functions of language, and the role of civic responsibility and personal choices in shaping human communities. She has taught every course level in the Writing and Reasoning Sequence. Her favorite seminars of her own creation: “Voices of the Vietnam War Era,” “Love and Other Demons,” “In Search of the Cyberpunk,” and “Blood, Beauty, and Brutality: Reading the Vampire.”
She spent a total of eight years as co-editor of her department's textbook Criteria: Discernment and Discourse Reader and Guide, which includes (but is not limited to) a revolving selection of student-written essays and tools for improving communication skills both written and oral. She has worked as an editor of the literary magazine Duck Soup, freelance edited book and screenplay projects, and served as a tutor and writing consultant.
She considers her seventeen teaching awards, all student-nominated – including multiple H.O.P.E. awards, a Provost's Teaching Excellence award, and three appointments as the SMU Laura Devlin Lecturer – to be her greatest professional accomplishments.