Marissa Elena Thompson


Postdoctoral Fellow

Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

University of Michigan

marthom [at] umich [dot] edu

Education Policy Initiative

Joan and Sanford Weill Hall

735 S. State Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48109


Welcome! My name is Marissa Thompson and I am a postdoctoral fellow with the Education Policy Initiative at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on the causes and consequences of racial and socioeconomic inequality, with an emphasis on understanding the role of education in shaping disparate outcomes over the life-course.

Methodologically, I employ descriptive and quasi-experimental quantitative methods using large national datasets, administrative data, survey data, and novel survey experiments. Prior to beginning my role at the University of Michigan, I earned a Ph.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. from Stanford University, and a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania. I will join the department of sociology at Columbia University as an assistant professor in July 2022.


In addition to research on inequality, education, and social policy, I’m excited about running, podcasts, and Big Ten football.



Marissa E. Thompson. "Grade Expectations: The role of first-year grades in predicting the pursuit of STEM majors for first- and continuing-generation students". The Journal of Higher Education. [Link]


Sorathan Chaturapruek, Tobias Dalberg, Marissa E. Thompson, Sonia Giebel, Monique H. Harrison, Ramesh Johari, Mitchell L. Stevens, and René Kizilcec. "Studying Undergraduate Course Consideration at Scale". AERA Open. [Link]


Adina D. Sterling, Marissa E. Thompson, Shiya Wang, Abisola Kusimo, Shannon Gilmartin, and Sheri Sheppard. "The Confidence Gap Predicts the Gender Pay Gap Among STEM Graduates". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). [Link]


Shannon K. Gilmartin, Marissa E. Thompson, Emily Morton, Helen Chen, Anne Colby, and Sheri D. Sheppard. "Entrepreneurial Intent of Engineering and Business Undergraduate Students". Journal of Engineering Education. [Link]


Ki Jun Yu, Duygu Kuzum, Suk Won Hwang, Bong Hoon Kim, Halvor Juul, Nam Heon Kim, Sang Min Won, Ken Chiang, Michael Trumpis, Andrew G. Richardson, Huanyu Cheng, Hui Fang, Marissa E. Thompson, Hank Bink, Delia Talos, Kyung Jin Seo, Hee Nam Lee, Seung Kyun Kang, Jae Hwan Kim, Jung Yup Lee, Younggang Huang, Frances E. Jensen, Marc A. Dichter, Timothy H. Lucas, Jonathan Viventi, Brian Litt, and John A. Rogers. "Bioresorbable silicon electronics for transient spatiotemporal mapping of electrical activity from the cerebral cortex". Nature Materials. [Link]

Working Papers


Kaylee T. Matheny*, Marissa E. Thompson*, Carrie Townley Flores*, and Sean F. Reardon. "Uneven Progress: Recent Trends in Academic Performance Among U.S. School Districts". [Link]

Works in Progress

Marissa E. Thompson. "Examining the Black Gender Gap in Educational Attainment: The Role of Institutional Punishment". 

Marissa E. Thompson* and Sam Trejo*. "Not in My School District: Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Information on Parental Preferences for School Segregation". 

Marissa E. Thompson, Tobias Dalberg, and Elizabeth Bruch. "Curricular Blind Spots: How Course Characteristics and Gender Shape Undergraduate Course Consideration".

Marissa E. Thompson. "The Impact of School District Secession on Changing Achievement and Achievement Gaps".

Adina D. Sterling and Marissa E. Thompson. "Internships: A Pathway or a Restricted Credential?"

* denotes equal authorship


Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology of Education & Education Policy

Certificate in Quantitative Policy Analysis


Master of Arts




Bachelor of Science & Engineering


Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Certificate in French Language

Magna Cum Laude