The associate director of student housing for residential learning at the University of Mississippi has been elected to lead a regional organization of housing officers.
Jeannie Hopper will serve as president-elect for the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers. SEAHO is the professional organization for the region, which encompasses 10 states in the Southeast and is an affiliate of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International.
“I am delighted to have this strong voice in my field and to represent the University of Mississippi while doing so,” said Hopper, who has been employed at UM since 2015. “Our housing department is on the forefront of the regional and national conversations about best practices involving our residential students.
“I have also seen an increase in the quality and number of applications from around the country for open professional positions in the housing department due to the increased recognition UM is getting from the election.”
Hopper, who has served on the SEAHO Governing Council since 2014, was elected to the executive board in 2019. During the recent virtual annual conference, she was elected president-elect. During the three-year position, Hopper will serve first as president-elect, then president and past president.
Hopper’s election to the position will further the collaboration with and support of SEAHO in bringing those values to life for students living on campus at Ole Miss, said John Yaun, director of student housing.
“Jeannie has served in various roles with SEAHO over the past 15 years, and I know she will be an amazing resource and leader for SEAHO,” he said. “Jeannie continues to be an amazing, committed leader at Ole Miss in her service to our students and the student housing community.”
As president, Hopper expects to advance professional development for housing professionals and further the discourse on topics related to housing practices in higher education. These practices include diversity and inclusion practices, strategic planning, student staff engagement and workload, and student mental health response in the residence halls.
“Our housing department is actively engaging with regional and national colleagues to provide the best training and development for our staff, and experience for our students,” Hopper said. “Our Housing Strategic Plan was just released, and it aligns with the SEAHO Strategic Plan, which I also helped to create with colleagues from schools in various other states.”
Hopper said she would like the university community to know that the Department of Student Housing is doing its part to keep students and staff at the forefront of the important issues affecting the community in Oxford, as well as the state, region and nation.
“I now have a front-row seat for those important conversations and am excited to bring them directly back to our campus,” Hopper said.
A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Hopper earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Tennessee. At her alma mater, Hopper worked her way up from a freshman housing desk assistant to resident assistant, graduate assistant over the living-learning communities, professional hall director and assistant director of university housing.
Hopper also began her time on the SEAHO Governing Council while at UT, when she joined the editorial team of the SEAHO Report and went on to serve as editor of the regional magazine for four years.
By Edwin Smith