School of Public Health names scholars’ fund after longtime professor
Joyce W. Hopp, PhD, MPH, RN (left), and Naomi Modeste, DrPH, hug at the reception where Dr. Hopp was surprised with the news that a scholars’ fund was being named in her honor.
During more than four decades of teaching in the School of Public Health, Joyce W. Hopp, PhD, MPH, RN, has helped shape both students’ careers, as well as the whole department of health promotion and education.
In Dr. Hopp’s honor, the department has named a new scholars’ fund after her. It will finance scholarly activities such as securing speakers for academic conferences, and it will also reward student excellence through scholarships.
“When I thought of setting up this scholarship fund about a year or so ago, I couldn’t think about a more deserving person on whom to place this honor,” says Naomi Modeste, DrPH, chair of the department and one of Dr. Hopp’s former students.
The fund will provide for two types of scholarships. One will go to health education doctoral students who exemplify excellence in health education practice, and the other will reward excellent writing. Both writing and the doctorate in health education are close to Dr. Hopp’s heart.
Back in the 1970s, the LLU School of Public Health offered only one doctor of public health degree, in epidemiology. As chair of health education, Dr. Hopp wanted to start a doctorate of public health in her department. She recruited Ruth White, DrPH, to return to Loma Linda University and lead the program. Together, these two women designed the new DrPH degree, which launched in 1981. From its inception, Dr. Hopp has taught in this doctoral program.
Writing is a skill t
In addition to the new scholarship named after her, Dr. Hopp was also recently honored with the School Distinguished Service Award during the School of Public Health commencement. She is pictured with Richard Hart, MD, DrPH, president of LLU.
hat Dr. Hopp emphasizes to students. Since it was first offered in 1975, Dr. Hopp has taught a course called “Writing for Health Professionals.”
“Many students have good ideas, but they have difficulty putting them into writing,” Dr. Hopp explains. “They need good writing skills for their dissertations, as well as in health education of the public.”
She devotes many hours to helping them rewrite their papers to a level where they can be submitted to either a refereed or a lay journal, according to Dr. Modeste, who took the class when she was a student and had two papers published.
“It is always rewarding to me when they get the papers they have written in class published,” says Dr. Hopp. “I keep a file of those they share with me. I have one doctoral graduate from 15 years ago who still sends me copies of the articles she publishes, and it is usually one or two a year.”
Laura Chandler is a doctoral student in the health promotion and education department who describes Dr. Hopp as a phenomenal, passionate educator who teaches from first-hand experience. Dr. Hopp has been an inspiration to her.
“She persevered much to get to where she is today,” Ms. Chandler says. “She is a strong woman, and I have always wanted to be a strong woman—one who manages to be a leader in her field, a good wife and mother, and a happy and healthy individual. Dr. Hopp has inspired me to be all these things and more,” she says.
Dr. Hopp feels very attached to the department of health promotion and education, where she has taught continuously since it began. Even when she was dean of the School of Allied Health Professions for 16 years, she taught part-time for the School of Public Health.
“The curriculum has continued to evolve to meet the current and future needs of public health,” she notes.
Dr. Hopp is also pleased that her daughter, Helen Hopp Marshak, PhD, a social pyschologist, chose to teach in the department. She is an associate professor.
Dr. Hopp is a distinguished emeritus professor in both the School of Public Health and the School of Allied Health Professions at LLU. She still teaches part-time for both schools. Additionally, she devotes herself to caring for her grandchildren.
To contribute to the Joyce W. Hopp Scholars’ Fund, contact Dr. Modeste at <email@example.com> or (909) 558-4741, or Randall Skoretz, DMin, director of development for the School of Public Health, at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or (909) 651-5022.
By Heather Reifsnyder