Liliana Marmolejo, a member of Morse Class of 2019, is an Economics major. She is primarily interested in the unequal distribution of punishment in schools based on racial and socioeconomic identity, educational opportunities in prison, and post-secondary education availability for marginalized communities. She hopes to get her PhD in Economics and further existing research on the adverse economic impacts of suspension, expulsion, mass incarceration, and other forms of educational exclusion. On campus, she is a member of the Women’s Club 2 Soccer Team and the sorority Kappa Alpha Theta. She also was a Peer Liaison for La Casa Cultural, the Latino Cultural Center, and is a pre-orientation leader for the program Cultural Connections.
Marmolejo spends most of her time outside of classes working via Yale Undergraduate Prison Project (YUPP). Through YUPP, she tutors at Manson Youth Institution, a prison for young men up to age 22. She helps men without their high school diploma study for their GED, reviews and analyzes current events with those who are to be released soon, and discusses a range of social, economic, and political topics with high school graduates who want to further their education but cannot because of the lack of higher education opportunities in prison. During the fall 2017 semester, Marmolejo studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain and taught English lessons to incarcerated students.
In summer 2017, Marmolejo worked with the Yale Prison Education Initiative, which seeks to expand upon existing Yale programming in correctional facilities by offering Yale courses to incarcerated students in Connecticut. She spent her summer working to prepare for the launch of YPEI as well as improving existing YUPP tutoring in Manson by creating a system of evaluation for the programs.