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About Feature 1

The Marietta Effect

Lauren Thompson

Lauren Thompson ’07

Major: History

Minor: Political Science

Additional Education: Master of Arts in History, West Virginia University (2010); Ph.D. in History, Florida State University (2015)

Current Job: Instructor, Florida State University’s History Department

Hometown: Bethel Park, Pa.

Clubs/Organizations: Student Senate President, Student Senate representative, Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, Orientation Leader, Student Alumni Association, College Democrats, Pre-Law Society, Pioneer Pals, Senior Challenge Committee

Favorite Professor: Too Many! Dr. Jim O’Donnell, Dr. Matthew Young, Dr. Katy McDaniel and Dr. Mike Tager

When did you know Marietta College was the right school for you?

I actually attended a very large University before coming to Marietta College. At this University, I had huge classes and my professors were not very approachable. I actually emailed the Admission Office to inquire about transferring and that I wanted to major in History. A few days later I received an email from Dr. Jim O’Donnell telling me he would be my advisor and I could join his class in the Spring. It was then and there; I knew MC is where I belonged.

Favorite Marietta moment?

There are TOO MANY! A few of my favorites were having the honor to give the Matriculation Speech to the incoming class of 2010. I also enjoyed the Summer of 2006 as an Orientation Leader in both introducing the freshman class to MC and forming relationships with my fellow orientation leaders. Graduation Weekend 2007 — Cedar Point with friends, the “bar crawl” (of course), the groundbreaking ceremony for the new library where I made a speech about Dawes, and painting the rock at 7 a.m. before Baccalaureate because Dr. (Lon) Vickers told me to make it “blue” for graduation!

Describe what life was like during your time at Marietta College.

THE BEST! I really miss throwing on sweat pants, heading to class, and then meeting everyone at Gilman for lunch. Cheering on friends at their games, working out at “the rec,” and planning interesting party themes were standard priorities in our day. We could just walk next door or down the hall to see our friends to talk about class, study, and hang out.

What impact did Marietta College have on your career?

I was actually very shy in high school, but Marietta allowed me to know so many people — Greeks, athletes, fellow students outside my major, international students, etc. I really was able to blossom at MC by meeting people who had interests other than my own. This allowed me to teach a diverse range of students at the university level. Most importantly, the faculty at Marietta is simply remarkable. Not only did my professors challenge us and prepare us for our careers, but they taught us to be educated citizens. I feel that in any situation, I can communicate with professionals in other fields because the wide-range of skills I learned from them at Marietta. Most importantly, their ability to take the time to work with us on not just assignments but “real life” situations allowed me to become an educator of college students because I had the most incredible role-models.

What does it mean to be a Pioneer?

When I try to explain to my students at Florida State that, “I knew everyone at my college” they just do not understand. What I explain to them and anyone else when they ask where I went to school — I tell them something like this, “Imagine your group of friends, now my friends were not just the people I would ‘go out’ with but those I talked to every day on campus, ate with, lived amongst, learned in class alongside, studied, shared difficult times, laughed, and graduated with — and whenever any of us go back to Marietta, Ohio — we pick up right where we left off as if time had not passed.”