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.
Kristina Suorsa, M.S., is a seventh year graduate student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University (OSU) under the mentorship of Larry L. Mullins, Ph.D. Currently, Kristina is completing her pre-doctoral internship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kristina attended the University of Rhode Island, graduating with a B.A. in psychology and French. Before attending OSU, Kristina worked for three years at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, completing research in adherence with children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease. Kristina’s current research interests include exploring the psychosocial functioning of parents of a child with a disorder of sex development and the use of electronic monitoring devices to improve health behaviors in pediatric cancer survivors. Upon graduation, Kristina would like to continue her research to improve health behaviors in an academic medical center.
Alexandria (Alli) Mullins, M.S., is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program under the mentorship of Larry Mullins, Ph.D. Alli is originally from Oklahoma, and graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.A. in Psychology. Prior to beginning graduate school Alli was a research assistant in PHP lab for two years working on projects examining psychosocial functioning in parents of pediatric cancer patients and prevalence/preferences of electronic cigarettes and secondhand smoke exposure in children, adolescents, and young adults. Currently she is involved in research projects examining psychosocial adjustment of parents of children diagnosed with disorders of sex development (DSD) and children with cancer and their parents. Additionally, Alli’s research interests include the transactional relationship between parental adjustment outcomes and child adjustment outcomes within families of chronically ill children, as well as factors related to coping in children with a stigmatized condition, such as DSD, and their parents. After graduating, Alli hopes to work at an academic children’s medical center further pursuing her research interests and working to improve adjustment outcomes in families of children with a chronic illness.
Hannah Espeleta, M.S., is a fourth 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.
Christina Sharkey, M.S., is a third 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.
Dana Bakula, M.S., is a third 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, and the impact that illness related factors have on psychosocial adjustment of both parent and child. 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. Dana became interested in these topics during her time working with children with chronic illness 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 research hospital doing research and clinical work.
Megan Perez, M.S., M.B.A., is a second 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.
The Chaney Lab
The Mullins lab works closely with the Chaney lab. Check out the Chaney lab members here!
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.
Interested in becoming a member?
The Pediatric and Health Psychology Research Laboratory will be interviewing prospective graduate students for admission in Fall, 2018. Please see the department website for more information on the application process.