Dr. Jenel Cope: Faculty

Dr. Jenel Cope: Faculty Photo

What subject(s) do you teach?

History and Political Science

What about your subject(s) gets you passionate?

Learning about the past is one of the best ways to understand the world around us!  I think that sometimes surprises people but it’s true. Also, looking at the depth and breadth of the history and government of our country exposes people to different viewpoints and different ways of looking at the world around us, which makes us better citizens of our country and better humans.

Why do you love teaching at GHC?

Because I get to work with students! That may sound like an obvious answer, but GHC’s small size means that I get to teach lots of different classes and often have the same students in my classes’ multiple times.  I love getting to know them, love seeing their progress, and really appreciate how much I learn from them.  Plus, I love rain, trees, and the ocean – so the setting doesn’t hurt a bit.

What are some of the cool experiences students can look forward to in your classes?

I try to design my classes so that students can connect the subject to their own lives. In American Government I ask students to do a creative Political Participation project where they identify three issues that are important to them, explore those issues, and then do a creative project. In U.S. history students do the same thing with a history book of their choice.  I’ve seen paintings about the environment, Lego dioramas of historical events, and cupcakes decorated in support of 2nd amendment rights.

What are some of the cool things you’ve been able to do / your students have achieved through online learning this year, that you wouldn’t have ordinarily?

One advantage to online learning is that it encourages (ok, sort of forces) students to participate in the class in a more equal way.  While I miss the immediacy and give and take of discussions in a face-to-face class, I realize that not every student usually participates in that kind of discussion. A graded online discussion board, by contrast, gives every student an equal chance and platform in which to share their ideas.

What is your favorite part about working at GHC?

The students, faculty, and staff at GHC are some of the most dedicated, welcoming people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.

Are you working on any research projects/ books / etc. that you can tell us about?

I am about to submit an article to academic journals for possible publication. It’s based on my dissertation research and studies the relationship between the FBI and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the Vietnam War area. I argue that the FBI often viewed student protestors as unruly children and were policing behavior as much as criminal activity.

What do you do when you’re not teaching at GHC (that you’d be comfortable sharing publicly)?

I love to read – everything from YA fantasy, to non-fiction bestsellers, to beach reads, to poetry.  I’m usually reading multiple books at the same time.  I also like to be involved in creative projects, writing, photography, painting etc.  Traveling is another hobby of mine; my husband and I have loved exploring the area since we moved here in 2018.

Anything else students should know about you or your classes?

This goes for my classes and any other college course. Don’t be nervous about asking for help, about wanting to know more, about talking to or emailing an instructor for more information. My job is to help students learn, and I love my job!