Marissa entered Harvard's English PhD program in the fall of 2011. She graduated from Yale in 2010 with a BA in Comparative Literature and an interest in romanticism and American poetry. Her undergraduate senior thesis on James Wright (with particular attention to his translations from Spanish and German) received the Alvin B. Kernan and Ralph Paine Memorial prizes for best senior essay in the Literature and English departments respectively. Between college and grad school she spent a year working in New York for Gotham Ghostwriters, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
At Harvard, she has continued to broaden and deepen her studies, adding Middle English literature to her poetic interests, alongside continuing work in romanticism and its twentieth-century transformations. Recently she has presented papers on Picasso's collage and on the late poems of Wallace Stevens. Her favorite place in Cambridge is unquestionably the Charles, for running and rowing, and she may also be found playing violin and on occasion cutting up the dance floor.