Mariella was employed with Michigan State University from 1955-1986. She received her Bachelor's degree from Southern Illinois Normal and University of Illinois and her Masters from the University of Illinois. While working in the Department of Family and Child Ecology she was the Teacher and Director of Spartan Cooperative Nursery, Head Start Trainer, and taught the first class of two year old children enrolled at the Laboratory Preschool. She is active in the Michigan Council of Cooperative Nurseries (MCCN) and its publications. She currently volunteers in working with international students.