Contact

sjwasser@brandeis.edu

Research Areas

Behavioral Neuroscience; Neurophysiology of Cocaine Addiction; Foster Mothering and Attachment Issues

Education

Ph.D., Boston University

M.A., Boston University

B.A., Allegheny College

Stephanie Wasserman

Stephanie Wasserman

Stephanie Wasserman

Stephanie Wasserman was the recipient of the 2013 WSRC Scholar/Teacher Award which provided her the opportunity to teach a course at Brandeis University based on her research Attachment, Separation, Risk, and Resilience in Adoption and Foster Care. During 2014/2015 she continued in her role as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Brandeis teaching three additional courses: Biological Basis of Motivation, Research Methods, and Developmental Psychology.

While an Associate Professor at Endicott College, Stephanie became a foster/adoptive mother and decided to teach part-time in order to care for her new family. Foster mothering opened her eyes to the social justice issues involved in providing foster care. Her new cohort did not fit the negative image or schema created by the popular media. To the contrary, she met foster parents who tirelessly administered loving care to other people's children. As an appointee to the then Department of Social Services' Self-Evaluation Team, she conducted a qualitative analysis of foster parent focus group interviews and wrote Preliminary Recommendations for Improving the Foster Care Experience. Stephanie has given many professional talks and papers on foster mothering.

Current Projects

Popular media focuses on tragedies in foster care, and journal articles reflect social worker perspectives on best practice. This study uncovers the foster parent voice via in-depth interviews. Emerging themes of attachment, separation, risk, and resilience will be compared/contrasted to well-established theoretical frameworks in psychology. 

Representative Publications

Wasserman, Stephanie. “The Mommy Brain.” In The Encyclopedia of Mothering, edited by Andrea O’Reilly, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications: 2010.

Wasserman, Stephanie. “Mothering Foster Children.”  In Mothers In All But Name: Grandmothers, Sisters, Aunts, Friends, Strangers and Nannies, edited by Marguerite Bouvard, 127-137. Nicholasville, KY: Wind Publications, 2009.