Department of Biology
PhD, Neuroscience, University of Miami;
BS, Marine Biology, Texas A&M University
Dr. Stepanek came to AU to teach and develop curriculum for the undergraduate Neuroscience major. She was previously an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation in the Division of Engineering Education and Centers. She obtained her PhD in neuroscience from the University of Miami, where she studied proteins that regulate axon growth and guidance. She went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco where she studied the neural basis of vocal learning and plasticity in songbirds.
Dr. Stepanek is interested in policy and research that can improve education with the goal of helping the next generation of scientists develop the academic and professional skills necessary for success in the 21st century workforce. At the same time, she worries that we all have become too job-focused. She hopes that her students will also learn things that allow them grow, and bring them joy.