Dr. Larry L. Mullins, Ph.D., received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983. He interned at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center with his primary placement in Pediatric Psychology. Dr. Mullins' primary professional identity is as a Pediatric Psychologist, and he has spent the past 30 years focusing both his research and clinical practice in the area of chronic health conditions in children. Dr. Mullins is currently the Vaughn Vennerberg II Chair of Psychology and Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University. He is also a Fellow of Division 54, Society of Pediatric Psychology.
Hannah Espeleta, M.S., is a sixth year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Hannah grew up in Dayton, Ohio and graduate from Miami University, Ohio with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Criminology. At Miami University, Hannah completed her Honor's thesis, "Adult Interpersonal Difficulties in Survivors of Child Abuse: Mediating and Moderating Roles of Emotion Dysregulation and Parental Care," under the advisement of Terri Messman-Moore, Ph.D. She also assisted on a longitudinal study funded by a NICHD-R01 grant, which examined the emotional and psychosocial mechanisms underlying sexual revictimization. Hannah's current research interests include the implementation and efficacy of child maltreatment prevention programs, family violence, health-related outcomes for children in foster care, and the treatment of problematic sexual behavior in youth. Hannah hopes to one day work in a hospital setting, researching children in child welfare's access to services and the implementation of child abuse interventions. Hannah is currently completing her doctoral internship at the Medical University of South Carolina.
Christina Sharkey, M.S., is a fifth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Christina grew up in New York and is a graduate of Georgetown University with a B.A. in Psychology. Christina became interested in pediatric psychology through her senior honors thesis, and research activities along several ongoing NIH funded projects in pediatric type 1 diabetes and pediatric oncology at the Children’s National Medical Center. Currently her research interests focus on the psychosocial adjustment of children newly diagnosed with cancer and their parents, as well as parents of children diagnosed with disorders of sex development. She is also currently involved with an intervention to help parents manage uncertainty after a new pediatric cancer diagnosis, and a project investigating novel risk and resilience factors among college students with chronic illness. Christina hopes to work at an academic children’s medical center researching and implementing protocols to help children and their families to manage chronic illness and to improve their quality of life. Christina is currently completing her doctoral internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Dana Bakula, M.S., is a fifth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Dana grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a B.A. in Psychology. Dana’s current research interests include child and family psychosocial adjustment to chronic illness, the transactional relationship between parent and child adjustment, and the impact of illness-related factors on psychosocial adjustment. Dana is currently involved in multiple research projects which involve the assessment of the psychosocial adjustment of parents and children to a new diagnosis of cancer, the efficacy of an intervention targeting uncertainty in parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer, and the psychosocial adjustment of children diagnosed with disorders/differences of sex development and their parents. Additionally, Dana’s dissertation project focuses on parent adjustment in the context of inpatient pediatric rehabilitation, with the aim of identifying modifiable factors of parent adjustment. Dana became interested in these topics during her time working with children with chronic medical conditions at St. Louis’s Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital prior to coming to OSU. After graduation, Dana hopes to work at an academic children’s hospital. Dana is currently completing her doctoral internship at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.
Megan Perez, M.S., M.S., M.B.A., is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Megan received her B.S. in Psychology and M.B.A. from Kansas State University. She recently finished her M.S. in Clinical Behavioral Psychology at Eastern Michigan University where she worked in collaboration with the University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital in pediatric cancer and bone marrow transplant research. Her research interests developed through her work coordinating unrelated bone marrow donations as well as working in oncology clinical trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her current research interests include communication and quality of life in children diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers. Megan hopes to work at an academic children’s medical center, evaluating variables related to quality of life for children and their families’ dealing with chronic illness and cancer.
Katie Traino, B.S., is a second year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Katie is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and graduated from Baylor University with a B.S. in Psychology. She became interested in studying pediatric psychology through her Postbaccalaureate Research Fellowship at the NIMH Neuropsychology Consult Service. Katie’s current research interests include better understanding and conceptualizing short- and long-term child, parent, and family adjustment and functioning outcomes in the context of multiple pediatric chronic illness populations. Katie's long term goals are to conduct collaborative research and clinical work aimed at enhancing children’s and families’ skills in managing their own medical care and navigating the larger health care system.
Rachel Fisher, B.S., B.A. is a first year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, PhD. Rachel grew up in Florida and graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.A. in History. After graduation, Rachel spent two years as a clinical research assistant at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she worked with families affected by childhood cancer. Rachel is interested in how families cope with pediatric conditions like childhood cancer and disorders/differences of sex development, with specific interests in family communication, decision-making, and sleep. After graduation, Rachel would like to work at an academic children’s medical center pursuing her research interests and promoting better outcomes for children with chronic conditions and their families.
Nate Basile, M.A., is a first year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Nate received his B.A. in Psychology from The Ohio State University and most recently received his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Dayton while also working as a graduate research assistant at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. While at Cincinnati Children’s, he provided a psychosocial intervention to parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer and assisted with various research projects aimed at identifying factors influencing the adjustment and adherence in pediatric patients who have received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant. Nate’s research interests include the psychosocial and neurodevelopmental outcomes of pediatric patients affected by chronic illnesses as well as the development and provision of psychosocial interventions for these patients and their families. In the future, Nate hopes to work at an academic children’s medical center conducting translational research and implementing psychosocial services aimed at improving the outcomes of patients and families managing a chronic illness.
Vaughn O. Vennerberg II is a native of Midwest City, Oklahoma and a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1976. Vaughn excelled during his time at OSU, serving as president of the Interfraternity Council, Student Union Activities Board and Blue Key Honor Society. Vaughn received the OSU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011 and an honorary OSU doctorate in 2012. Vaughn began his career as a landman for Texaco. He later went to work as a land manager at Cross Timbers Oil Company, spending 23 years with the company, eventually serving as president. In 2011, Vaughn co-founded MorningStar Oil & Gas in Fort Worth, Texas, where he is a partner and president. In 2008, Vaughn and XTO Energy established three endowed faculty positions at OSU in art, bioinformatics and molecular genetics, and developmental disabilities psychology. Vaughn is dedicated to the advancement of research on developmental disabilities and has made incredible contributions to such research in the PHP lab. He currently lives in Dallas with his three sons – Trey, Luke and Zachary.
Dr. Mullins is accepting applications for graduate students for admission Fall, 2020. Please see the department website here for details on submitting an application.