New professor series: Amy Poppinga

September 18, 2012 | 11:45 a.m.

Introducing the new faces around Bethel 

News | Roberta Fultz

New professor series: Amy Poppinga

Amy Poppinga joins the Bethel community in the Department of History. | Courtesy of Academic Affairs

--Amy Poppinga has been interested in history since she was young.  “I’ve always tried to think of what my life would be like if I had lived in a different time period,” she said.  “I feel like I would have enjoyed living in different contexts.” Her subpar history teachers in high school frustrated her: “If there’s one subject that should be super interesting, it should be this one.”  The quality teaching she experienced at college reinforced her enthusiasm.

--Poppinga is a Bethel graduate with degrees in history and social studies education.  She taught high school students while completing her degree in Islamic studies.  After 9/11, student interest in predominantly Muslim areas of the world vastly increased.  Poppinga had stayed in contact with her Bethel professors and was asked to teach a class on the Islamic worldview.  She has been adjunct since 2005 and just this year joined Bethel’s full-time staff.

--“I have a heart for students who feel like they don’t fit the mold, especially transfer students,” Poppinga said.  “Bethel can be a hard place to transfer to because people seem to have this phenomenal freshman experience, which is great.  Just realize you’re never beyond making new friendships.”







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