Faculty Shout-out by Professor Pete Johnston: “It has been a true pleasure working with Ryan, first through having him in my FLM260 class and then having him along in our Film in Britain program. Ryan has brilliant insights about film and I always loved hearing him voice them during discussions, but to get a better sense of his personality through the study abroad experience was a real treat. I can’t wait to see where life takes him.”
Faculty Shout-out by Dr. Lyn Goeringer: “Ryan Hoppenworth was really a great addition to my class “Music and the Moving Image” last fall (2019). He really brought a lot of enthusiasm, practice, and engagement into the class. I always appreciated his contributions to cultural understanding particularly around the use of popular music in films, and he always was very thoughtful in his questions and comments in class. In particular, I am really impressed by his ability to create connections between Music and the Moving Image, Film History, and Theory as a whole. He always had really great ideas in the use of music around genre, and had really innovative ideas in regards to Leit Motif and connections to character and plot development. It was a real joy to have him in class!”
Faculty Shout-out by Dr. Justus Nieland: “I’ve been lucky to have Ryan as a student in several classes. He’s a real cinephile, and a sharp writer about film. He’s also a kind, delightful, and funny human being. So it was a special treat to have Ryan as part of the 2019 Film in Britain program. One of my favorite memories of Ryan on the trip came on a day when the acclaimed British director Terence Davies visited our morning class, and read “Burnt Norton” from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets to help us understand his handling of time in his film Of Time and the City. So great! That afternoon, waiting for the group in a park outside Sir John Soane’s museum (which we were about to visit) Ryan sat down next to me on the bench. I asked him how he’d spent his early afternoon, and he pulled out a copy of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, which he had just bought in a nearby bookstore. I was quite moved by his intellectual curiosity. ‘Time past and time future / What might have been and what has been / Point to one end, which is always present.’ Congratulations, Ryan!”
How would you describe your time as an English or Film Studies major at MSU?
My time in the English/Film department has been one of considerable growth for me. Coming in to the department, I had a lot of grand ideas, and this department helped forge me into a student who could express them in a creative way. I look back on my time at MSU as the proudest of my life and I hope to take the skills I’ve learned here and apply them for the rest of my life.
Which classes, instructors, or experiences particularly stand out for you and why? How did they prepare you for the next phase of your life?
My favorite courses during my time in the department were the film classes I took during the Film in Britain program with Professors Justus Nieland and Pete Johnston. I got to experience another culture while taking some of the most interesting classes that MSU has to offer. Another class that ignited my curiosity was FLM/MUS 480 with Professor Lyn Goeringer. This class opened my eyes to the instrumental role of music in cinema and had me embark on one of the most interesting analyses of my academic career. These experiences helped me expand my creativity and find my creative passions.
What advice would you give future English or Film Studies majors, based on your experiences in the department?
My advice for incoming students is to step outside your comfort zone. Signing up for classes that challenge you can be scary, but these classes end up inspiring you and lead to the most academic/personal growth.
What coursework-related projects were/are you working on this year, and what interests or excites you about them?
This year, I completed the final classes for my major and my minor. I also used this time to focus on growing my creative writing ability. I’ve undertaken multiple projects in this area and even explored creative areas that I’ve never experienced before. This has been an excellent time to strengthen my writing ability and further solidify my creative confidence.
What are your hopes and aspirations, post-graduation?
My aspirations after graduation is to take the skills I’ve learned and apply them to make real-life change. I never want to stop learning and my main goal is to find a career that will assist me in this pursuit.
Please reflect a bit on the strange experience of being a graduating senior during this moment of local and global crisis. What resources have been most useful to you in navigating this unprecedented situation?
While COVID-19 presents the class of 2020 with an unprecedented challenge, I’ve been working closely with my academic and career advisor to finish my time at MSU strong and move on to a fulfilling career. In addition, my partner and family have been providing constant emotional support through this challenging time, and for that, I’m truly grateful.