Christine Hopper, office support specialist for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science, has worked at the UI for a little more than two years.
Hopper grew up in the South City area of St. Louis and attended Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo., where she earned a bachelor’s degree with a double major in psychology and business in 1994.
After graduation, she went to work in the management program at J.C. Penney Co. She worked there for 13 years in six different stores, living in St. Louis, Decatur and Springfield before settling in Champaign in 2004. She joined the university in 2007.
Hopper recently began work on her master’s degree in higher education. Her husband, Bruce, works at Kraft Foods and coaches football at the High School of Saint Thomas More in Champaign. They have two daughters, Brianna and Kylie, ages 10 and 7.
WHAT DO YOU DO ON THE JOB?
I’m the primary receptionist for GSLIS, which means I answer incoming phone calls, welcome visitors and direct students to the person who can answer whatever specific questions they may have. I’m also responsible for coordinating special events for the school, assisting with the distance learning on-campus sessions, adding upcoming events to the GSLIS Web site calendar and overseeing our convocation ceremony and reception. It’s a really great place to work.
WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE?
A typical day-in-the-life would involve a lot of answering the phone and greeting visitors. We just had some of our distance-learners on campus recently, so there’s a lot of logistical work to be done before they arrive. I work on reserving classrooms and computer labs here and throughout campus for their daylong sessions. I also arrange accommodations for their stay and catering for the special events we host. Some days are quiet, but the days leading up to special events can be quite busy.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Definitely the people. From my very first day on the job, everyone at GSLIS welcomed me with open arms. I work with a great group of people, including the faculty, staff, the dean, and the associate and assistant deans. The administrative staff is like an extended family to me. We all work well together and have fun while at work as well as outside of work. I feel very blessed to be a part of the GSLIS family.
WHAT’S THE MOST CHALLENGING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB?
Probably commencement. It’s the most challenging but also the most enjoyable part of my job. There’s so much to coordinate and communicate with the students and faculty as well as organizing the regalia, music, flowers and catering. But the energy on commencement day is just remarkable, so creating a memorable event for our students is very important to me. It’s challenging and rewarding at the same time.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OFF THE JOB?
My family is very busy with extracurricular activities, so spending quiet time at home with them is something I enjoy the most but don’t seem to get the chance to do all that often.
Our oldest daughter is on the swim team, so we’re at the YMCA a lot, as well as traveling to swim meets. Both of our daughters are in Girl Scouts, and I’m a Girl Scout leader. It sometimes takes a lot of your time but Girl Scouts is something that I really enjoy and believe in. I also love reading, gardening, scrapbooking and watching Illini and St. Louis Cardinals games.
Since neither my husband nor I grew up here, we also travel a lot to St. Louis and Jacksonville, Ill., to visit family. This past summer we took our first real family vacation to Disney World for a week. We absolutely loved it, and would go back in a heartbeat.
YOU’VE LIVED IN A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT PLACES IN THE STATE. WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO CHAMPAIGN-URBANA?
Living here reminds me of living in St. Louis, only on a smaller scale. The university and park districts offer so much to do. It’s a wonderful community and my husband and I both feel it is a great place to raise our family.