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18, 2015

To Who it May Concern:

Esther Hopkin has asked that I write a letter of recommendation for her and I gladly do so.

When youre a university professor you have hundreds of students that pass through your
classes, and there are always a few who stand out. For me, Esther is one of those.

Esther is bright, willing to be challenged intellectually, doesnt hesitate to ask questions and
knows how to just get in and do the work. In an age when so many students carry an air of
entitlement, Esther understands that her sense of self and purpose is ultimately about what
she has to offer, not what someone else will hand to her.

I had Esther in two rigorous academic classes and one theory/practical pedagogy class. In
each the material was challenging on many levels. The content of the classes required a
willingness on the students part to rethink their worldview and invited them to consider
new paradigms. Esther took up the challenges thoughtfully and with a spirit of

In the classes there were new concepts to be explored, new perspectives to absorb and,
specifically in the pedagogy class, new theories to be integrated into practice. I found that
Esther was interested and willing to dive in and wrestle with the content. In doing so she
was thorough in her preparation, she paid attention to detail yet was able to keep the
whole of the assignment in mind, fulfilling each with integrity.

For me she was a model student: professional, timely, interested in clearly knowing what
was expectednot for the grade, but to know how the assignment would further her
understanding of the material.

As an alumni of the Dance Department, Esther is the kind of student that we will be proud to
say, Shes one of ours! In whatever she encounterswork, family, life or serviceEsther
has the skills to make the world a better place because shes inquisitive, resourceful and not
afraid to work hard. In addition to all of the above Esther knows how to work collectively
with grace to direct a class or a group to fulfill a vision.

Without reservation I support Esther, knowing that she will do whatever she does with
integrity and skill.

If you need further conversation about Esther, I can be contacted by email at


Pat Debenham
Retired Professor of Contemporary Dance and Music Theatre
Brigham Young University
Adjunct Professor Utah Valley University