Arianna Riccio, Research Cooridnator turned Postgraduate Research Fellow
What is one project you’re excited about that you are working on in the lab right now?
I have been working on a project with the aim to mitigate the long-term health consequences of childhood adversity through an adapted screener and brief mental health intervention to be delivered via pediatric primary care centers. We piloted the screener this past winter/spring and are just digging into the results now. I'm looking forward to seeing what clinic personnel and patients alike have to say about their experiences so we can ensure that our ultimate implementation is a success!
What is something that you enjoy doing outside of work?
I've been practicing yoga on-and-off for the last 10 years, and the pandemic helped me get back into a regular practice both on and off the mat. I'm hoping to pursue YTT one day and gain certification as a yoga therapist.
Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what?
I don't know if this is a hidden talent, but most people don't know that I grew up as an avid hoofer (tap dancer). I still have my shoes and can perform "The Shim Sham" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7g7YBUHcc4) upon request. :)
What do you want to be when you “grow up”?
So many things! Right now I'm half-way through to completing my MSW at Boston University, and I am incredibly eager to dive into the field as a clinical social worker. But most of all, I just want to be a kind human who can genuinely offer herself in service to others and help make the world a more compassionate and loving place to exist in.
What is something you have accomplished and are proud of outside of work?
I like to stretch my personal comfort zone whenever possible by trying new things; however, recently, I've challenged myself by trying something old. Growing up as a dancer, I resented having to take ballet - a discipline that was very difficult for me to connect with. Now, I'm going back to ballet as an adult in order to change my relationship to the dance. I'd still rather put on a pair of tap shoes, but I'm proud of myself for going back to aspects of my life that have been more challenging for me.
Give us a snapshot of a moment of joy in your life.
Laughing to the point of tears with an adolescent client as we wrap up a clinical session over Zoom
What is something that you are personally working on improving (about yourself, about the world, about your community etc)?
At the moment, I am intentionally committing to inviting more stillness into my life. Balancing a full academic course load, a part-time internship, a part-time job, and a meaningful social life this past year put me into "doing mind" full-throttle. Now that summer is here, I am being much more intentional about inviting pauses of mindful stillness into my day, and it is a practice that I hope to carry with me into my next academic year.
What brought you to work here?
Hearing about the incredible community of the lab. I was a teaching assistant for Kate's course, "The Science of Stress", before working as a research coordinator, and I loved holding my office hours in the lab and witnessing just how collaborative and supportive of an environment it is. As a research coordinator/fellow, most of my work in the lab has been remote, but the sense of community and caring is still palpable.
What has made you the proudest in your time in the lab?
In working on the intervention project, I have gotten the opportunity to pitch our intervention design to pediatricians, clinic staff, and patient families through qualitative interviews. That moment when our interviewees respond by saying things like, "Wow, this is just what we need! When can we start?", is so powerful and motivating and makes me proud and honored to be a member of this lab.
If you could be anything (outside from your current field) what would it be?
Social work feels incredibly meaningful and fulfilling to me, but I imagine myself having multiple careers throughout my life. I have a couple half-completed job applications on my computer that I should probably finish and submit one day. One is to be a travel host on "Globe Trekker", and another is to work at my favorite bookstore, Trident Booksellers. Maybe there's still time for both. :P
What 's important to know about you?
Spirituality is a meaningful aspect of my identity, and I enjoy dedicating moments of my day to spiritual practice - whether that's prayer, meditation, chanting, connecting with nature, or reading and learning about particular contemplative philosophies.