First-Gen Faculty & Staff

Johnica Hopkins

Johnica Hopkins

Academic Advisor, College of Arts and Sciences
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers


BA in Psychology at Western Washington University, 2001
MA in Teaching at University of Washington, 2011


What does being first-gen mean to you?

Being first-gen means you are the first in your family to go to college. It means you stand on the shoulders of those who love and support you, but it also means you're brave enough to go forth and do things your family members haven't done before.
What challenges/barriers have you faced or overcome during college?

Navigating university bureaucracy is difficult. Learning how to apply to schools, complete the FAFSA, plan your classes and seek out resources on my own was a huge challenge.
What resource(s) or support helped you to be successful?

I was lucky to have a couple professors who suggested that I apply for research assistantships and recommended me for on-campus jobs. I also had a fantastic on-campus employer who was also a woman of color and was a wonderful mentor to me.
Do you have an inspirational quote that helped guide you through college?

Go to class and use resources like you're paying for it (because I was)!
What advice would you give to someone else who is also first-gen?

If you're not sure about something, just ask. Ask your advisor or RA or professor. They might not know the answer, but they'll know who to ask. That's what we're here for. You do not have to navigate it all on your own.