PHutures – 100 Alumni Voices »

Sarah Stamper

“One of the things that has always resonated with me is, is there an alternative? Could we actually just declare our values, own them, and use our values to shape the work that we’re doing?”

Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

Psychology, PhD 2012

Chief Research Officer, Murmuration

Sarah‘s Podcast Episode

In this episode, we discuss how Sarah’s interest in understanding people drew her to pursue a PhD in psychological and brain science, the ways her curiosity and her desire for impact led her into several different roles before she landed in her current position in a civic tech nonprofit, and her advice for trusting your instincts when it comes to finding a career that aligns with your values and goals.

Learn More About Sarah‘s Story

One of the most transformational experiences I’ve had was spending three years developing and teaching a high school neuroscience program. While this was the only period of my life where I was in the classroom every day, the role and identity of being a teacher is something that has always stayed with me. This image encapsulates much of what is important to me as a teacher and now as a leader: don’t be afraid to get dirty, firsthand learning in the field or real world can’t be replaced, embrace the moments of fun every chance you get, and never underestimate the power of strong relationships and a good story.

I grew up in Kentucky and left as soon as I could. I wanted a brighter future and access to culture, food, and all the things you used to hear about or see on TV with respect to the big cities. After spending a couple decades running away (more or less) from my roots it turns out that there’s so much in that experience that was core to my identity—including that I just really love farms and farm animals. Having recently relocated from Baltimore to a tiny town in West Virginia, where there’s lots of green grass and plenty of goats, I find myself feeling more like me. And perhaps surprisingly, this change in my life has led to new insights about community and human behavior that have informed and shaped my work.