Dr. Mary Lynn Rampolla

Associate Professor of History

Phone: 202-884-9264
Office: Main 180


  • B.A., History/English, Trinity College
  • M.A., History, University of Toronto
  • Ph.D., History, University of Toronto


  • Medieval Social History and Popular Culture
  • Political and Religious Dissent in 17th-Century England

Select Works Published

  • A Pocket Guide to Writing in History
    Rampolla, M., 7th ed. (Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's), 2012


I believe a liberal arts education is a process of self-discovery. As a history professor, my goal is to encourage students to see history as one way to explore the rich diversity of human experience; the ability to perceive and recognize the meaning of events from a perspective other than our own and to appreciate the diversity of human beliefs and cultures is an especially valuable skill in our increasingly complex and multicultural society. Moreover, in learning about the people of the past, we learn a great deal about how we came to be who we are.
As a teacher, I believe it is essential to see each student as an individual. Effective teaching assesses each student's particular strengths and weaknesses and encourages her to challenge herself and grow intellectually: to read difficult texts; to explore new subjects and new ideas; and to work to develop the essential skills of critical reading, analytical thinking, and clear written and oral expression. Socrates said it best in the 5th century BCE: "The unexamined life is not worth living."