Stephen completed his undergraduate degree in Plant Science in 2002 here at Cornell. As an undergraduate, and immediately after graduation he worked for Mikhail and June Nasrallah studying self-incompatibility mechanisms in arabidopsis.
In 2003 he entered the Horticulture Department, also here at Cornell working under Professor Bill Miller looking at the strategies of deer resistance in various ornamental plants. During his time in graduate school Stephen taught courses in plant cell tissue culture, as well as major's and non-major's biology. Discovering an interest in teaching he also pursued a degree in science education, completing masters in both horticulture and teaching in 2007.
After completing his graduate work Stephen left Cornell for the first time in nearly 10 years and pursued work as a teacher, working primarily with at-risk youths in the Ithaca area. Budget cuts brought Stephen back to Cornell in the summer of 2010, where he became the permanent lab manager of the Rose lab.
Stephen does continue to teach an online course in introductory biology at Tompkins Cortland Community College (TC3), a local community college.
When not in the lab, Stephen enjoys spending time with his wife Emily, and their two children, Zachary and Meghan. He can be found most weekends tending to the landscaping around his home.