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Marymount University mourns grad student

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Marymount University in Arlington is mourning the loss of Marisa Harris, a first-year graduate student in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program. Harris was 22.

Harris, a resident of Olney, Md., was driving eastbound on I-66 in Fairfax County Oct. 28 when a 12-year-old boy jumped from the Cedar Lane overpass in a suicide attempt and landed on her Ford Escape. She died at the scene.

The front seat passenger steered the vehicle off the interstate and the car came to a stop on the left shoulder.  

“Every student contributes immeasurably to the community we create together at Marymount University,” said Matthew D. Shank, Marymount president, in a statement. “The loss of any student, particularly in so heartbreaking a manner, grieves us all.”

The 12-year-old was transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital where he is being treated for life-threatening injuries.

Harris, a graduate of Towson University, was part of a group of students and faculty who traveled to Budapest, Hungary, last month to attend the European Branch of the American Counseling Association conference.

“Marisa was very quiet and reflective, but you could tell once she completed her program she was going to make a difference in the lives of a lot of young adults,” said Lisa Jackson-Cherry, chair of the counseling department. “Perhaps one of the largest impacts of this tragedy will be the loss of the positive impact that she would have had on others.” 

An on-campus memorial observance will be held at a later date. 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017