Stephanie D’Costa named a Contemporary Asian American/Pacific Islander Leader in Psychology

Stephanie D'Costa

Stephanie D'Costa is an assistant professor and special consultant in the Education and Leadership department.

June 4, 2021

Stephanie D’Costa, Assistant Professor of School Psychology in the Department of Education and Leadership, says that in her field there’s been too little acknowledgement of the work of racial and ethnic minorities.

“In the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the Trainers of School Psychologists realized a need to call out racism and celebrate what diverse faculty have been doing towards social justice,” D’Costa said.

Part of their remedy is recognizing historical and current contributors. They did so in February as part of Black History Month, and then again in May as part of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage History Month, naming several people as a Contemporary Asian American/Pacific Islander Leader in Psychology.

D’Costa, who identifies as South Asian, is being recognized as such by the Trainers of School Psychologists’ Social Justice Committee, alongside other notable AAPI practitioners including the co-founders of the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA).

"The College of Education is proud to have Dr. D'Costa as a faculty member,” said Cathi Draper Rodriguez, Interim Dean of the College of Education. “She is committed to preparing school psychologists who can combat systemic racism in schools."

In her research and teaching, D’Costa addresses inequity in K-12 schools including racism, poverty, heteropatriarchy, ableism and more, and working toward intentional solutions. She’s also a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in trauma-informed practices.

“I see my teaching and research as my way of being a good [contributor] relative to my community and our world,” D’Costa said.

In a statement, the Trainers of School Psychologists said: “We encourage all educators to deepen their knowledge of Asian Americans and events in U.S. history as a long-overdue starting point to enriching curricula and celebrating the countless achievements and national heroes within the AAAPI community.”

“I feel grateful for this recognition,” D’Costa said. “I recognize that it is the encouragement of my partner, the sacrifices of my immigrant parents, the wisdom of scholars, activists and thinkers that have laid the foundation for me to be here today.”