Stephanie DeCross

Stephanie DeCross, Graduate Student


What brought you to work here?

Coming from the world of adult psychiatric neuroscience before grad school, I was curious about the stories of peoples' lives and developmental trajectories that led them to their adult presentations. I wanted to integrate a developmental perspective with my research interests of how fear mechanisms and neural circuitry underlie psychopathology, and Kate and the lab felt like a special place filled with brilliant, warm individuals.

What is one project you’re excited about that you are working on in the lab right now?

I'm thrilled to be submitting my aversive learning paper, especially because it reflects a ton of effort I poured into learning a new neuroimaging analysis program, software pipeline, imaging modality, imaging visualization program, and multiple statistical techniques since joining the lab.

Do you have any hidden talents? If so, what?

My "black thumb" is impressive - I've somehow managed to even kill bamboo. I also know an astonishing number of musical theatre shows by heart.

What is something that you are personally working on improving (about yourself, about the world, about your community etc)?

I'm passionate and committed to improving things for others that come after me broadly, which motivates a lot of my mentoring and service work. At a personal level, I'm working on being more patient with myself.

What has made you the proudest in your time in the lab?

Being selected as a Jacobs Foundation Science of Learning symposium speaker at Flux as a second year grad student. The science communication aspect - getting to share my work directly with a bunch of scientists I admire - was an amazing opportunity, and made me feel like maybe I could have an impact. In my clinical work, I've received deeply meaningful personalized notes from patients, and I'm so proud of how much they've grown and that I could play a role in encouraging that process.

What is something you have accomplished and are proud of outside of work?

Achieving my first arm balance in yoga after working on it for several years was a proud moment. For me, yoga isn't about being able to do a certain pose in a certain way. A large part of my practice is about appreciating my body for what it can do and being fully present with things as they are, and in that moment I felt empowered in how steady dedication can bring about change. That might sound contradictory, but I see it as two sides of the same coin.

Give us a snapshot of a moment of joy in your life.

Halfway up a glacier on the other side of the world, looking out over the horizon and feeling free.

What is something that you enjoy doing outside of work?

Being involved with the Boston Jewish community and dance community, getting outside, traveling, cooking/baking and feeding people I care about until they explode. Petting any and every dog I see, the bigger the better. Finding new creative hobbies and being all-in for a few months and then getting distracted.

What’s important to know about you?

I'm driven by core values of community, connection, and authenticity, and my Jewish and Italian heritage and all the traditions that come with it are important to me.

See also: Steph DeCross