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Kristen Hotopp Keeps Pace as LBJ School Staff Member, BMX Cyclist

by Jackie Dana

Published: Aug. 13


 “I wear many, many hats.”

That’s how Kristen Hotopp, graduate program coordinator II in the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, describes her job, but it also describes her outside activities.

As an avid BMX cyclist, Hotopp has found a way to bring a keen interest in global and community issues into both aspects of her life.

As a university staff member since 2002, Hotopp has worked closely with students. After working as an academic adviser in the College of Liberal Arts and in the Kristen Hotopp, graduate program coordinator in the LBJ School of Public Affairs, is an avid BMX cyclist.Department of Theatre and Dance, she now works with 350 graduate students in the LBJ School, serving as the fellowship and scholarship coordinator, registrar, teaching assistant appointment coordinator and organizer of the LBJ School commencement.

“It’s kind of neat to work with folks who have a solid idea of who they are and what they want to do,” she said. “They really want to change the world and the university.

“I get postcards from students interning over the summer in Africa, Kazakhstan, China,” she said, noting this is one of her favorite parts of her job. “It’s a great opportunity to interact with people who get to travel or who come from the far reaches of the globe, places I’ll never get to visit. It’s lifelong learning, and that’s what I like about it.”

The position in the LBJ School fits Hotopp perfectly. Having a degree in social work, Kristen has always felt a deep commitment to social justice and community outreach, something that has translated into her outside activities as well.

Until a serious injury a few years ago, Hotopp was a competitive cyclist, active in the sport of BMX racing.

It all started because she rode a bicycle as her primary form of transportation. She became friends with people who opened up a bike shop and started attending cycling events, which soon translated into competitive racing.