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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

    FACES: Ms. Annie creates welcoming atmosphere on shuttles

    Kaitlin Mullins

    Ms. Annie considers her student commuters family.

    Any passenger who takes the blue shuttle at Mississippi State University will tell you happiness is contagious when you have someone like Effie Ann Hopkins driving the bus. Known as “Ms. Annie,” students see Hopkins as a motherly figure who brightens their day.

    Hopkins shuttle takes students from the Union to Research Park, where engineering research is done.

    Katerine Saleme, a computational engineering graduate and exchange student, said Hopkins is the kindest person she knows and always puts a smile on everyone’s face.

    “I was stressed because of the language barrier, but Ms. Annie helped me a lot to speak in English and always asked me how I was. She is like a mom,” Saleme said.

    Faridul Alam, aerospace engineering graduate student, said Hopkins is someone who is always caring, comforting and makes students feel better no matter how low they are feeling. He said even though he has a car now, he still gets on the shuttle once in a while just to have a good time talking to Hopkins.

    “When international students come to the USA, we are lonely, helpless and homesick,” Alam said.  “But Ms. Annie has been like a second mother to me and made me feel good every morning when I used to take the shuttle with her.”

    Raj Prabhu, biomedical engineering professor at MSU, said Hopkins is someone who has been well seasoned in life and has a spunky personality.

    “She is someone who can relate to you and help you see life from a different perspective,” Prabhu said. “She can tell you, ‘Hey, I’ve been through this, you can go through this, too, and come out fine.’ “

    With enthusiastic spirit, Hopkins said she tries to make everyone feel more comfortable and loved. She said she understands the needs of homesick students and tries to make them feel like they are part of the MSU family.  

    “I want you to know somebody on campus loves you, want you to know Mississippi State loves you. You can feel relaxed and feel like you belong here,” Hopkins said.  “I want you to know that I love you enough to make you understand there’s family here for you. You have a granny, aunt, sister or whatever you want to call me.”

    Fazle Ahad, a mechanical engineering graduate student, said Hopkins is like a family member to him at MSU.

    “My wife and I invited her for dinner many times, and we always have a great time talking to her,” he said.

    The story of how Hopkins fell in love with students of MSU and has been a shuttle driver since 2003 starts with her daughter, who decided to leave Chicago to attend MSU in 1992.

    “I was a stay-home mother in Chicago. I couldn’t bear to be apart from my daughter,” Hopkins said. “It’s a hard thing for a mother to give up her child, so I decided to find a job in Mississippi.”

    Hopkins said after her daughter graduated in 1997, she wanted a job at MSU to do something to help other students. She realized how hard life is for many students who are sometimes thousands of miles away from their families, and she felt the need to do something for them.

    “We are family on the blue route,” Hopkins said. “I’m the family here you miss at home, to talk to you and keep you from getting into trouble.”

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    FACES: Ms. Annie creates welcoming atmosphere on shuttles