Tonia_ComptonBy Donnie Andrick

TLC’s popular television show Who Do You Think You Are? allows viewers to embark on an intimate and fascinating journey with some of the country’s most beloved celebrities as they uncover their family histories and discover new things about themselves.

If you are interested in what stories this show may reveal, what better time to tune in than when Columbia College’s very own Assistant Professor of History Dr. Tonia Compton joins historians and genealogical experts in an episode that follows ’80s “sweetheart” Molly Ringwald as she explores her ancestry?

The producers of Who Do You Think You Are? reached out to Compton, who did her dissertation work on women and land ownership in the West, to present Ringwald with documents about her family’s history in Nebraska.

“They asked me to help a little with explaining some of Molly Ringwald’s ancestors. When they moved to Nebraska and purchased land … it was actually fairly unusual circumstances for the time. They asked me to take a look at (the documents) and give them my perspective,” Compton says.

For any lover of the classic ’80s movies The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink, meeting Ringwald would be no casual event; although, Compton kept it professional.

“I didn’t actually meet her beforehand, and we just started filming and it’s like ‘Here’s Molly Ringwald walking down the hallway smiling at me!’… inside I’m doing this total fan girl dance. It was amazing, and she was really great,” Compton says.

The show, which aired Sunday, April 24th, is scheduled to air again Sunday, May 1st at 5  p.m. CT.