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Photo by Matt D’Annunzio

Heather Hambley ’14


Hometown: Albany, Oregon

Who I was when I got to Reed: I came from a small, evangelical high school that praised people for being bubbly, outgoing, and sweet. I internalized this model, making small the parts of me that craved quiet and reflection, things that I needed to honestly connect with those around me. Coming to Reed, I looked forward to freely exploring these parts I found most meaningful: silence and resting and listening.

How Reed changed me: I used to either completely reject other people’s ideas or completely conform to them. Reed has taught me to negotiate these extremes, and how to collaborate and to trust myself.

What I would tell prospies: You actually begin learning when you become practiced in saying, “I don’t know” without fear.  At Reed we say, “I don’t know, but I want to,” which takes it to the next step.

Favorite class: In Gender and Theatre, we studied Takarazuka (the all-female Japanese musical troupe) one day and RuPaul’s Drag Race another. Prof. Kate Bredeson [theatre 2009–] has done an amazing job of facilitating an experience that is inclusive.

Favorite spot: I love how I can just walk by the classics professors’ offices, stick my head in the door, and chat. The professors here are so accessible.

Cool stuff I did: Developed a data management system for community safety, backpacked in the Olympic Peninsula, taught a summer art class to ninth graders, tutored writing for Humanities in Perspective (a collaboration between Oregon Humanities and Reed that holds a free humanities class for adults living on low incomes), started attending Quaker meetings.

Scholarships, awards, or financial aid: I had tons of financial aid, including work-study, a Pell grant, a Reed grant, an Oregon Opportunity grant, etc. I would not be here without the generosity of Reed.

Adviser: Prof. Jessica Seidman [classics 2013–]

Thesis: “Gender- and Genre-Bending in Ovid’s Heroides 16 and 17”

What it’s about: Ovid experiments in the margins of traditional, male-dominated epic mythology, and crafts a fictional epistolary exchange between the lovers Paris and Helen of Troy to subvert stereotypical gender norms. 

What it's really about: Ovid writes fan fiction.

What’s next: Teaching Latin at a local high school.