From a very young age, junior Marielle Hampe loved to read books. Her very first memory, in fact, is of her mother reading her a story on the porch of their house. It wasn’t until after her first year in the Notre Dame’s Glynn Family Honors Program, however, that she realized she wanted to make a career out of reading and writing—and teaching others to do the same.
“I entered ND as a physics major, but physics wasn’t making me as happy and as excited as I had been in my honors seminar, where I enjoyed the literature,” Hampe said. “So I decided to pursue what I loved as a child.”
Now an English major with an Education, Schooling, and Society minor, Hampe would like to work in education at some level after graduation, whether as a teacher, professor, or administrator. She was recently elected vice president of the Literacy Awareness ND club.
Following Her Interests
“The Glynn Family Honors Program has given me the opportunity to engage in small classes with my peers in a highly stimulating and challenging environment, where I always feel pushed to find, develop, and follow my interests,” Hampe says.
Through the Upward Bound program at Notre Dame, for example, she found a new passion and outlet for teaching. In the Upward Bound Writing Workshop, she tutored local high school students, many who are struggling socially or economically. “The goal of the course was to bring the students’ critical reading and writing skills up to the college level,” she says.
Hampe has also worked as a tutor in the University Writing Center since her sophomore year. As part of that role, she also reviews essays written by Notre Dame students in Writing and Retoric classes for a publication called Fresh Writing.
“I know that if I develop an interest,” she says, “the faculty in the Glynn program are there to help me and maybe find opportunities to do pursue it.”
Hampe is now beginning work on her senior thesis for both her English major and for the Glynn program. She will be looking at the mother-child relationship in romantic period literature and how education develops through that role. She also hopes to expand her thesis for the Glynn program to incorporate modern research and will be using this summer to begin her research.
A teacher herself, Hampe’s mother played a role in helping her formulate her thesis idea. “I think my mom probably has been the biggest influence on my thesis—as both a mother and a teacher,” Hampe said. “I’ve seen how she negotiates both roles. She’s kind of at the crux of it all.”
Throughout her academic journey to find her passions and imagine possible career paths, Hampe gives credit to the Glynn program for providing her such a strong base of support and community.
“I’ve always felt that I’ve had this special community that I belong to,” she says. “We all belong to the Notre Dame community in general, but then I have this other subset of community members who are always there academically to support me.”
It’s not just the close environment of the small classes, she says, but also the involvement of her professors that has made the difference. “The program advisers and directors in the Glynn program are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met,” Hampe says.
“Whenever you go into the Glynn lounge, they’re always there to help you sort out whatever you’re thinking about. I’ve gone and just asked them about majors or my future career path or what I’ve thinking of doing. They really are there to help you take those crazy dreams you have in your mind and find avenues to reach them. It’s definitely been a positive experience.”