Profile: Marisa Pierson

Senior Program Coordinator

Clement A. Price Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience


Marisa Pierson joined IECME in Newark as its program coordinator in December of 2004, following 16 years managing a variety of projects at Rutgers-New Brunswick campus.

A graduate of the School of Visual Arts, NYC, Marisa began her Rutgers career in the Department of University Relations on the Livingston Campus, as part of the former Office of TV and Radio, where she wrote and produced The Rutgers Forum, a weekly TV show that showcased for Rutgers academic experts, and was broadcast on WNET-13.

She was also the series producer and writer/narrator for the 5-year award-winning radio series, New Jerseytimes, which illuminates New Jersey history, folklore and public affairs issues.  The series was broadcast on 27 commercial and noncommercial radio stations in the tri-state region.  Marisa regularly collaborated with Institute director, Dr. Clement Alexander Price, and other Rutgers experts and key constituents from the historical community to create programming for the series.  Among its many honors, New Jerseytimes received the prestigious National Award of Merit in 1997 from the American Association for State and Local History.  Marisa also produced the weekly RU-TV program Inside Rutgers which explored campus life and issues, and she mentored Journalism students learning the television craft.

Prior to Rutgers, Marisa worked at a number of radio and television broadcast facilities in Pennsylvania.  In Harrisburg, PA, she produced documentary segments for the Pennsylvania Public Television Network (PPTN) statewide series, Pro/Con.  She also wrote and anchored newscasts for Radio Pennsylvania, a radio satellite network specializing in state-related news and business reports.

Currently, Marisa coordinates many high-profile public programs for the Institute, including the Marion Thompson Wright Lectures Series, a mainstay program of the Rutgers-Newark campus for over three decades.  Marisa also produces and mounts the semi-annual World Dance Symposium, a full-day exploration of ethnic dance that includes workshops during the day and a professional performance during the evening.

As an instructor, performer and choreographer of Middle Eastern Dance, Marisa has taught for local school districts, libraries, and at Rutgers-New Brunswick.  She leads dance workshops for educational institutions, such as the College of New Jersey, and community groups, and produces Middle Eastern dance seminars and workshops in New Jersey, enabling students to study with master teachers from around the country.