Marissa  Grayson
Associate Professor of Political Science, University Pre-law Advisor, Director of the Public Administration Program
Howard College of Arts and Sciences
Political Science
220 B Ingalls Hall

Marissa Grayson began teaching Political Science at Samford University in August 2010. Before coming to Samford, she served as the Director of Debate at the University of Florida and taught classes in public speaking and public leadership. At Samford, she teaches a variety of courses in the Political Science Department, including the department’s introductory courses Power and Politics and American Government, and upper-level courses in American Politics, American Public Policy, and Political Behavior. She also oversees the department’s internship course, and thoroughly enjoys helping students explore potential careers through internship opportunities. Her commitment to teaching was honored when she received the 2015-2016 John H. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Teaching at Samford.

Grayson also serves as the university’s Pre-law Advisor, assisting undergraduates with the decision to go to law school and the application process. She teaches classes preparing students to apply to law school, works closely with the Undergraduate Mock Trial Team, and coordinates the Judge L. Scott Coogler U.S. District Court Fellowship.

Her scholarly interests center on education politics, theories of public policymaking, political behavior, and teaching and learning in higher education. Her research analyzes federal education policy and federal tax reform to explain why incrementalism is the prevalent form of policymaking and why the United States has rarely seen major policy reform in those areas at the national level. She has also published research with colleagues on the effect of responding to negative campaign advertisements in American elections in the journal Political Communication. Grayson also serves as a political analyst for local and national television and radio stations.

 In addition to her academic interests, Grayson enjoys traveling, playing tennis, spending time outside, and watching college and professional sports. She adores spending quality time with her husband Bryan and children, Brandon and Norah. She also serves as a board member for multiple organizations in Alabama, and is the chair of the Alabama Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Political Science, University of Florida
  • M.A., Political Science, University of Florida
  • B.A., Political Science, Political Science, University of Southern California