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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Emma Mumper, SBU doctoral student and co-developer of Project Brave, dies at age 26

Emma Mumper (first on right) and a group of her friends at a restaurant. Mumper, a doctoral student at Stony Brook University, passed away at the age of 26. GABRIELLA IMBRIANO/THE STATESMAN

Emma Mumper, clinical psychology doctoral student at Stony Brook University, died at the age of 26 along with her mother and brother at their Indiana home on Sep. 6, after her father fatally shot them and then took his own life. 

Mumper was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her graduate degree in psychology from Stony Brook University in May 2018, and graduated from Indiana University Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 2016. Stony Brook University has posthumously gave Mumper a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. 

“Emma’s dedication to building relationships with us, forming a strong community in and around Stony Brook, and creating a network of support for one another fostered the warmth and connectedness within our cohort that we now hold so dear,” Gabriella Imbriano, Tessa Clarkson, Alan Gerber and Laura Perrone, Mumper’s graduate psychology cohort, said in a joint statement to The Statesman. “For that we will be eternally grateful to her.”

Mumper’s research interests were in temperamental and environmental factors that contribute to mood and anxiety disorders. She co-authored at least three research papers in her time at Stony Brook University. 

Known as her cohort’s historian, Mumper was always the first one to document the group’s memories through pictures and videos. The memories were supposed to help the cohort through “dark and difficult times” during graduate school, according to her cohort.

“This has been especially true in the days and weeks since her passing,” the cohort said. 

She was known as a role model and a compassionate therapist. Mumper worked at the Klein Developmental Psychopathology Lab at Stony Brook University for over four years, studying depression and mood disorders in children. Her lab members describe her as an “exceptional researcher” and “adept clinician” who deeply impacted the lives of her patients. 

“Emma was a very dear friend to the members of the Klein lab, and we will always miss her tremendously,” the Klein Lab said in a joint statement to The Statesman. “However, her innumerable virtues, alongside with her work that has furthered the advancement of psychology research, are her legacies that will live on forever.”

She also served as a role model and leader in the Stony Brook STEM community. Mumper was an event coordinator for Graduate Women in Science and Engineering and mentored undergraduates in the Women in Science and Engineering program. 

Over the summer, Mumper co-developed Project Brave at the Schleider Lab, which provides free, one-time training sessions for parents across the world to help their children with anxiety. Project Brave’s logo features a hedgehog, one of Emma’s favorite animals, in a superhero costume.

“Although you won’t get to see the results of the trial of Project Brave you co-led to completion this summer, your digital intervention is now publicly, freely and permanently available for any parent in the world to benefit from,” Jessica Schleider, Schleider lab director and assistant professor in the department of psychology at Stony Brook, said in a note to Mumper on Twitter. “I hope this helps honor and memorialize your love for hedgehogs and your incredible commitment to helping children everywhere.”

Her friends and family ask that donations be made to Child HELP Partnership, a child trauma prevention program at St. John’s University, where Mumper was pursuing training in trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. 

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