Mary earned her A.B. in Classical Languages from Bryn Mawr College and her Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University. She has been a member of the Classics Department at Holy Cross since 2001; she received tenured and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007 and promoted to Professor in 2016. She chaired the Classics Department from 2012–2015. She teaches courses in the ancient Greek and Latin languages as well as literature courses in translation such as Greek & Roman Epic and Classical Drama. She was the coordinator of the pilot program at Holy Cross for summer research in the humanities, arts, and social sciences in 2010, and has co-mentored summer research students in Classics since then. She has served the College through the Committee on Faculty Scholarship, the Mission and Identity Committee, the Presidential Colloquium on the Jesuit Liberal Arts, and the Committee on Academic Standing, among several others.
Her scholarship investigates the Homeric epics (the Iliad and the Odyssey) and ancient Greek tragedy, especially in terms of performance and oral poetics. She is author of Imagining Illegitimacy in Ancient Greek Literature and co-author of Iliad 10 and the Poetics of Ambush, as well as several articles and essays on ancient Greek literature. She is co-editor of the Homer Multitext, a collaborative digital project that creates and publishes digital editions of manuscripts of the Iliad containing ancient commentary as well as the poetic text. Related to this work, she has been awarded both a Collaborative Research grant and a Scholarly Editions grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Most recently, she has published essays about the Homeric epics in the literary journals New England Review (2016) and Michigan Quarterly Review (2017).