David Hopping passes away

David Hopping

Teaching Assistant Professor and Workforce Development/Continuing Education Director David Hopping passed away on April 10. He is survived by his wife, Teaching Associate Professor Judith Pintar, two children, extended family, colleagues, and many beloved friends around the globe. 

Hopping was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1953. He attended the University of California at Santa Cruz after serving in the Vietnam War and graduated with his BA in liberal arts, with honors, from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California. He earned his PhD in sociology at the University of Illinois and served as a visiting assistant professor in the Sociology Department from 2004-2007. 

Hopping was committed to securing the safety and well-being of others, which was evident in his volunteer work. His dissertation, "Beyond the Caring State: Civic Ideals and the Architecture of Human Development," was based on his work at Hope Meadows, an intergenerational community in Rantoul, Illinois, where older adults and foster families join together to raise and adopt foster children. Hopping worked with Hope Meadows founder, Brenda Eheart, to create Generations of Hope, an innovative nonprofit organization dedicated to the development of intergenerational communities as solutions to complex social problems. He served as the organization's executive managing director from 2007-2015 and executive director from 2015-2016.

Prior to joining the faculty of the iSchool in 2019, Hopping was a visiting research associate in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. Hopping's research focused on social and community informatics, sociological theory of human rights, relational sociology, and action research and public policy relating to digital inclusion and digital literacy. At the iSchool, he taught Web Technologies and Techniques, Web Development for Organizations, Social Network Analysis, Web Design Fundamentals, and Web Content Strategy and Management. 

"While we are sad to so prematurely lose our colleague David, along with his insight, patience and competence, his contributions to Informatics are significant and numerous. He brought to us popular courses, innovative projects in game development, and the launch of an experiential learning web development studio," said Lisa Bievenue, director of Informatics programs. 

Hopping and Pintar coauthored Information Science: the Basics (Routledge, 2023). Recently, he and his students had been developing the Web Innovation Studio, a pedagogical approach to teaching web development that engages students in meaningful, collaborative work. 

"Our heartfelt sympathies are with Judith and the entire family," said Dean Eunice Santos. "David was a valued colleague whose compassion and expertise benefited faculty, staff, and students alike."

A virtual memorial may be held at a later date. Donations in Hopping’s memory may be made to Hope Meadows to support the continuation of his web development project, which will curate the 30-year history of Hope Meadows and Generations of Hope. 

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