Mason, Mary L.
Mary earned her undergraduate degree in Spanish from Michigan State, worked as a child welfare social worker and then went to law school. After graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, she practiced law for a number of years, was a co-founder, board member, and consultant for an inner-city charter school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has looked extensively at educational alternatives for her three quirky children. In the process she also earned a master's degree in education from Aquinas College.
Education for students outside of the mainstream has been Mary's primary focus for the last 15 years. Her interests include: the disconnect between policy and classroom practice, particularly as it affects students outside the mainstream; school choice; urban education and reform; and the legal aspects of school finance. Her current work brings many of these interests together in studying the impact of non-cognitive factors ("Developmental Assets") on school persistence and analyzing the impact of state and local school-reform policies on schools in Detroit.
Mary is supported by a Dean's Scholar Award, with other support from a Rasmussen Fellowship (2008), a Summer Research Development Fellowship (2009) and a Summer Research Fellowship (2010).