Jessica Stern headshot

Jessica Stern

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Psychology

When I meet students for the first time, I'm always curious to learn their "origin story" — how specific people, places, experiences, ancestors, cultures, and systems worked together to shape who they are... and who they might someday become. Everyone's story is simultaneously unique and universal, personal and deeply connected to a broader story of how human beings develop. As a developmental psychologist, I love asking questions about how our earliest life experiences shape everything from our brains and stress biology to our empathy and romantic relationships. Answering those questions scientifically can reveal the fundamental principles of human development and help us better understand ourselves, our family and friends, as well as people seemingly different from us. I love sharing this research with students, and I'm incredibly excited to teach an Engagements course where we can learn about each other's stories, as well as the fascinating science behind them.