Sarah Beth

Sarah Beth Hopton, Ph.D.

Digital Communication Consultant


My name is Sarah Beth Hopton. I’m an Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Scientific & Technical Communication at Appalachian State University, and a communication consultant. I teach organizations how to use story and technology to connect and influence key publics and drive social change.

Technology + Story = Social Change

It has never been easier to profoundly influence others through story, but it has also never been harder to separate the signal from the noise. My driving passion is to improve the lives of the marginalized, the disenfranchised, the silenced, and I do this by working with mission-driven organizations at the intersection of story and technology.

Research shows there are significant skills gaps in social impact organizations. The need for training services and metric-driven examples of storytelling success is evident. As a digital communication consultant, I teach and lead organizations to implement both the theory and best practices of networked communication.

In addition to holding a doctorate in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from the University of South Florida, I also have more than 15 years experience in journalism, entertainment, brand strategy, technology, design, philanthropy, government, and business.

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Print & Digital Design

I help organizations tell their stories in print and digital mediums using a combination of coding languages, aesthetic theories, and years of practical knowledge delivering complex multimedia projects on time and budget.

Research, Assessment & Measurement

I research, measure and apply insights from custom assessment programs using a combination of analytic tools and processes. Sentiment and web analytics, social network analysis, focus groups, and interviews are just some of the tools I use as I help organization’s build and extend their influence with key publics.

Custom Training & eLearning

I design custom consulting, training and eLearning solutions for organizations depending on need, which can be delivered digitally or on-site. I use the latest software (Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline) for custom eLearning solutions, and am current on best practices in social media and social change management.

Print & Social Content

I write custom content for organizations trying to give voice in traditional and social media spaces to their vision, mission, and key arguments for change.


I’ve worked with Dr. Hopton for several years and know her to be a smart, conscientious solution-provider. She works well independently, or as part of a larger agency team. I recommend her unequivocally for print and digital design projects, as well as training and strategy and content development.

Audrey Morris-Goff, Moore Consulting Group

Dr. Hopton is our go-to consultant and contractor for all things print and digital design. She consistently provides quality work and keen insight to our customers — all associations — and has proven her value time and again, saving our clients money, time, and hassle by delivering products on time and on budget.

Debra Nolan, AMC Source

Dr. Hopton is extremely bright, very talented and a charismatic, natural leader. She infuses everythign she does with energy, enthusiasm, and clarity, and naturally motivates the team to action. A joy to work with.


Paul Field, Field Vision Consulting

Dr. Hopton is a top-notch, intelligent, energetic and creative professional. She has demonstrated solid leadership in her organizations and community. I highly recommend Sarah-Beth for marketing, storytelling, digital content and eLearning consulting.


Dan Krassner, Fla Chamber of Commerce


Custom Training & eLearning

I’ve worked for a variety of organizations providing instruction and training on networked communication strategy for social change. Each solution is customized to the needs of the organization and can be delivered digitally using Adobe Captivate or Articulate’s Storyline, or on-site. I have facilitated or designed on-site and distance training for Deltak, the Patel Center for Global Sustainability, and the University of South Florida, most recently.

Communication, Measurement, & Design

In my 17 years of professional experience, I’ve had the express pleasure of working with dozens of local, state, national and international organizations, helping them reach and connect to key audiences, measure the results of various branding and storytelling initiatives, and extend their reach and influence by demystifying the metrics that matter in social change initiatives. Clients have included The National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, divisions of the American Psychological Association, the Book Manufacturer’s Institute, the Roatan Marine Park, the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange.

Journalism, Video & Content Production

Because so much of content design and delivery for social change is mediated through a device, it’s important to know I’ve written and produced for both traditional and emerging media. Video, television, and journalistic work includes working with or submitting work to the National Broadcast Network (NBC), The Word, the Army News Times, The Miami Herald, and multiple scholastic journals.


Ph.D. Rhetoric, The University of South Florida


My dissertation work used innovations in semantic network analysis to mine, measure and compare the metaphors used by various stakeholders to describe and frame the debate around the use of the herbicide “Agent Orange.”

Related Publications

Hopton, Sarah Beth. Saving the Sea, Socially: How the Roatan Marine Park Uses Social Media and the Laws of New Power to Educate, Inspire, and Engage Global Audiences. Communication Design Quarterly. Forthcoming, February, 2016.

Herndl, Carl, Hopton, Sarah Beth, Cruse, Rick, Polush, Elaina, Shelley, Mack. “The Rhetorical Challenges and Methodological Opportunities in Facilitating Citizen Participation in Technology Assessment and Development”. Places of Persuasion: Studying Rhetoric in the Field. Edited collection. 10,000 words. Forthcoming, December, 2015.

“Evidence of Things Not Seen: Mapping Sentiment Across Time in Unstructured Texts about the Herbicide Agent Orange.” SIGDOC Conference Proceedings. September, 2014.

Santos, Marc C., Bieze, Ella R. , Cagle, Lauren E., Carabelli, Jason, Dixon, Zachary P., Hopton, Sarah-Beth, Gay, Kristen N., McIntyre, Megan M. “Our Electrate Stories: Explicating Ulmer’s MyStory.” Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 18.2 (2014): n. page. Web. 12 Mar. 2014. <>.

“Rebooting Revision: Leveraging Technology to Deliver Formative and Summative Feedback. ” Exploring Technology in Writing and Writing Instruction. Eds. Kristine Pytash and Rick Ferdig. Ohio: IGI Global, June 2013.

“If Not Me, Who? Ethical Praxis in Technical Communication.” Ed. Rosario Durao. Connexions International Professional Communications Journal. 1(1), 0-00. ISSN 2325-6044. 2012.

M.A. British Literature, Mercy College,


M.A. Creative Nonfiction, Lancaster University


B.A. Journalism, Florida Southern College



With 17 years of experience in digital and technical design, content development, and research, I offer various levels of expertise across industry-standard software suits.

Adobe Creative Suite
WordStat & SimStat
WordPress & Bootstrap
Articulate Storyline/Adobe Captivate


  • All
  • Graphic Design
  • Logo Design
  • Web Design
  • Logo Design
    Logo Design
  • Society for Consulting Psychology Website
    Society for Consulting Psychology Website
  • AMC Source Website
    AMC Source Website
  • Print Design
    Print Design


  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Address
    146 Parkway Ridge, Boone, NC 28607


Need a speaker for your upcoming technology or social change conference? A consultant, facilitator, designer or trainer? Or, just someone to bounce ideas off of for an upcoming social change initiative? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s chat. No obligation.

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