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Psychology Student Inspired to Make a Difference

Whether it’s traveling, clever wordplay, or witnessing her niece react to an elephant at the zoo for the first time, Stephanie Sasse, a PSU senior with a Psychology and General Science double major, finds inspiration all around her.

“I think that if you stay open, it’s inevitable that everywhere you turn you will feel excited and renewed,” explains Stephanie. In addition to her psychology studies and internship at OHSU’s brain imaging lab, Stephanie designed and taught a 4 credit class, organized a student run, and participated in a number of community volunteer projects through Student Leaders for Service. “If you do your part, there is no limit to the education you can get here, and there’s no boundary between the institution and the ‘real world’.” 

Originally set on pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience, it was Stephanie’s rich extracurricular undergraduate experience that inspired her to explore a career outside of the lab. Eager to start “creating consequential connections between the world of research and the communities that can benefit from it,” this fall, Stephanie will study at Harvard University’s Mind, Brain, and Education program, which offers graduate work that blends brain research with community issues surrounding health and education. Before she heads east, she’ll be recognized at the University-wide awards ceremony for her outstanding academic and service achievements with three prestigious awards:

  • President's Award for Outstanding University Service
  • CLAS’s Commendation Award at the Bachelor's Level 
  • PSU’s Excellence Award at the Bachelor's Level

“Years of applied coursework and interdisciplinary extracurriculars at PSU trained me to see connections between worlds, to be that bridge rather than just saying “someone ought to”, and for that I will always be grateful to PSU for its mission and focus.”