Maya Rosen, Postdoctoral Research Associate
What is one project you’re excited about that you are working on in the lab right now?
The OCEAN study! This study has been in the works for many many years and I'm so excited it is finally off the ground. We are exploring the environmental and neural mechanisms driving socioeconomic disparities in academic achievement. This project marries my love of vision science with my love of developmental cognitive neuroscience. Can't wait to see what we find! And shout out to the all-star research coordinators running this project: Yesi Camacho Torres and Adrián Medina!!
What is something that you enjoy doing outside of work?
Hiking with my dog Eli, exploring new cities, cooking & baking (and eating), watching movies & listening to records with my partner, and spending time with friends and family.
What do you want to be when you “grow up”?
A supportive, engaged, and active teacher and mentor
What has made you the proudest in your time in the lab?
As a whole, I'm incredibly proud of the way our lab came together during the pandemic. We could have all retreated into our own lives, but I was so pleased to see how people reached out to one another and checked in. And even more, I am really proud of the way that the lab came together and committed to make changes to increased diversity, inclusion, and belonging. That was a heartening to be a part of.
Personally, I'm really proud of getting my faculty job at Smith College. I've wanted to be a professor for as long as I can remember and I'm so delighted that I'll be starting there in July of 2022. I'm so excited to bring human neuroscience to a small liberal arts college and to figure out how to balance research with teaching and mentoring. I've been looking forward to this for a long time and I'm really happy how it's all turned out.
What is something that you are personally working on improving (about yourself, about the world, about your community etc)?
Over the last year, I have worked on being more present. By nature, I'm a bit of a busy body, always making lists and running around trying to get things done. This last year, I've made strides in allowing myself to be in the here and now. And I've noticed improvements in both my mental health and my relationships.
Give us a snapshot of a moment of joy in your life.
Nothing brings me more joy than walking down the street alone and seeing my partner and dog, Eli walking toward me. Especially when Eli realizes it's me and starts to run as fast as he can toward me.
Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what?
Weird one that I discovered during the pandemic: I'm very skilled at identifying sounds. My siblings and I have periodic game nights / conversations over Discord (audio only) and if someone is doing something while on the call, I can identify it without fail. The first time it happened I said "Yonatan (my brother), are you chopping leeks?" and was correct. He hadn't mentioned he was cooking let alone what he was cooking. My siblings now test me regularly and so far I haven't gotten a single thing wrong.
What brought you to work here?
My graduate training is in cognitive neuroscience and vision science in healthy young adults. I loved what I studied in grad school, but toward the end of my PhD I felt a draw to more applied work. I had a long standing interest in understanding how the environment and experience impacts brain and cognitive development in kids. I started exploring who was doing this work and was lucky to find that Kate was hiring a postdoc! Also, all of my academic mentors up to that point had been (wonderful) men, so I was especially excited to be mentored by a woman who was really killing it.
What is something you have accomplished and are proud of outside of work?
I'm extremely proud of how good I am at gluten-free baking. When I took my first GF sourdough boule out of the oven I was BEAMING. I really have Aran Goyoaga to thank for this, but I'm gonna take it as a win for myself too.
If you could be anything (outside from your current field) what would it be?
Field primatologist (perhaps every girl who grew up in the 90s dream?)