Introducing the new faces around Bethel
News | Roberta Fultz
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.”