She was in grad school in Marymount University and just walked across the stage in May from Towson University.
“She was quiet. She took her studies very seriously and wanted to become a child psychologist. She wanted to help troubled children,” Dr. Bethany Brand, one of Marisa’s psychology professors at Towson, said.
Dr. Brand called Marisa laser focused in the classroom. She got into a program in undergrad that’s as rigorous as it is selective.
“About half of them [students] don’t make it. She made it in. And then they take specialty classes with students – 12 other students, for a whole year and a half. So she got to know her classmates very well. I’ve been hearing from her classmates all day,” Brand said.
Brand, like Harris’ classmates, stunned at the news.
According to Virginia State Police, the 12-year-old boy was dealing with suicidal thoughts. When he jumped from the overpass, he landed on top of Marisa’s SUV incapacitating her inside.
Her boyfriend was also inside. He wasn’t injured.
A huge loss Dr. Brand says for a student with so much promise.
“They would think of her as somebody with a huge heart with a passion for the field, a passion for helping troubled kids. I meant the 12-year-old that was attempting suicide, this is exactly one of the kids she might’ve been working with down the road,” Brand said.
The 12-year-old is in the hospital with “life-threatening injuries.”