Via the Mississippi Delta Project Spring 2017 Newsletter

Economic Development Team

The Economic Development Team works on solutions that improve economic well-being and quality of life in the Mississippi Delta.  In previous years, our team has worked with both non-profits and local governments, producing policy papers on subjects including public corruption in Arkansas and philanthropic innovation in the Mississippi Delta. This year, the team has partnered with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi to develop paid family leave policy in Mississippi, which we believe will help support Mississippi families and businesses. Our team members spent the fall semester researching the status of paid leave throughout the United States, ultimately producing a policy paper presenting recommendations for potential legislative strategies to pass paid leave legislation in Mississippi. In the spring semester, we hope to work with the Women’s Foundation to cultivate partnerships with organizations and individuals who can help bolster support and advance paid leave legislation.

Student Spotlight

Marissa Marandola, 1L
Hometown: Cranston, RI

Marissa Marandola, 1L

Marissa Marandola, 1L

Marissa Marandola is a first-year student on the Mississippi Delta Project’s Economic Development Team. Hailing from Cranston, Rhode Island, Marissa received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Boston College. She worked on paid family and medical leave issues for the United States Department of Labor Women’s Bureau during her senior year of college and this past summer before beginning law school.

Marissa’s passion for government work and experience at DOL has made her a particularly strong asset to the Economic Development Team, which is currently working with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi to explore potential paid family leave legislation in Mississippi.

“I grew passionate about the potential of paid leave as a vehicle for upward mobility and opportunity, especially for mothers and their children,” Marissa says of her time working for the government. “Coming from a state that is a pioneer on paid family and medical leave, I was initially surprised at the dearth of PFML programs, particularly outside of the New England states. I joined MDP both to broaden my perspective on the national paid leave landscape and in the hopes that my experience at DOL could contribute to our work to bring paid leave to Mississippi.”

Marissa has stayed busy outside of MDP. She serves as a Technical Editor for the Journal on Legislation, works as a research assistant for Professor David Wilkins in the Center for the Legal Profession, is a first-year representative for the Law and Government Program of Study, and is a member of the Catholic Law Students Association. After law school, she hopes to continue to pursue labor and employment issues and a career in government.