Alayna Tackett, Ph.D. is completing a postdoctoral research fellowship through a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI); Award # F32HL138734-01) at the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center. Alayna’s postdoctoral research will examine the respiratory and inflammation effects of electronic cigarette use in youth with asthma under the mentorship of Theodore Wagener, PhD, Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, Deborah Pearlman, PhD, and Kate Guthrie, PhD. Recently, Alayna was awarded a Loan Repayment Grant Award from the NIH/NHLBI. After completing postdoctoral fellowship, Alayna is interested in continuing her research interests in tobacco regulatory science, with a specialized focus on evaluating the pharmacological and behavioral use patterns of non-cigarette tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and marijuana, use in youth with chronic health conditions. She hopes to contribute to the field of pediatric health psychology by writing grants, developing research protocols, and teaching/training students at all levels.
Kristina Suorsa, Ph.D.., is a recent graduate from the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at Oklahoma State University (OSU). Kristina was a member of the Pediatric Health Psychology Lap under the mentorship of Larry L. Mullins, Ph.D. Currently, Kristina is completing her postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan/Michigan Medicine with David Sandberg, PhD. Her postdoc training will focus on gaining clinical and research skills with patients with a Difference/Disorder of Sex Development (DSD) and their families. She recently completed 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 and overall medical care of patients with a DSD.
Melissa Carpentier, Ph.D.
I am a proud former member of the Mullins Lab. During my time at OSU, I focused on examining the utility of cognitive appraisal mechanisms in predicting child and parent adjustment to a variety of chronic illnesses, including diabetes, asthma, and cancer. I completed my internship at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS, and recently received my doctoral degree from OSU (July, 2007). Currently, I am Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in the IU Simon Cancer Center. Generally speaking, my line of research focuses on examining the developmental trajectory of adjustment among individuals diagnosed with cancer in the formative adolescent years, including the transition into survivorship and young adulthood. Given the centrality of peers and romantic partners in adolescents and young adults lives, I am also interested in how health-protective and health-damaging behaviors are entrenched within close peer and dating relationships among this vulnerable population. Notably, engagement in health-damaging behavior holds important implications for adolescent cancer patients and survivors, given their increased risk for second malignancies in their adult lives. Thus, the overall goal of my line of research is focused on identifying predictors, mediators, and moderators of maladjustment, in the hopes of ultimately informing the development of behavioral interventions designed to target adolescents with cancer and adolescent cancer survivors who are at risk for social difficulties, compromised quality of life, and engagement in health-damaging behaviors.
Jill (Van Pelt) Isenberg , Ph.D.
Completed her Ph.D. with the Mullins' lab in December 2005. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. She then completed a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in the Division of Pediatric Clinical Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. Currently, Dr. Isenberg is working as a pediatric neuropyschologist in the Department of Psychology at Saint Louis Children's Hosptial. Her clinical and research responsibilities involve serving the hematology-oncology teams, including working with children who have brain tumors, who have undergone bone marrow transplant, and/or who are experiencing cognitive late-effects as a result of cancer treatment.
Ahna Hoff Pai, Ph.D.
Is currently an Assistant Professor at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She received her B.S. in Psychology from the Colorado State University, her M.A. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Colorado and her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology focusing on Pediatric Psychology from Oklahoma State University (2003). A poster based on her dissertation received the student poster award from the Society of Pediatric Psychology at the 2003 American Psychological Association convention. After completing her clinical internship at Columbus Childrens Hospital, Dr. Pai pursued a two year postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Dennis Drotar at Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital and Case Western Reserve University Medical School. Following her fellowship, she conducted research in the Division of Oncology at Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia with Dr. Anne Kazak. Dr. Pai joined the Center for the Promotion of Adherence and Self-Management at Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center in August, 2007. Her research interests are centered on the development and dissemination of interventions designed to increase adherence to medical regimens in pediatric populations. Specifically, she is interested in systemic interventions targeting those components of family functioning that influence adherence and self-management behaviors in transplant populations. She is also interested in the construct of illness uncertainty and managing illness uncertainty as a means of decreasing caregiver and child psychological distress.
Bernard Fuemmeler, Ph.D., M.P.H.
Earned his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University in 2001 and completed a clinical internship and one year post-doctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina. He then went on to a 3-year fellowship sponsored by the National Cancer Institute in preventive oncology. During the fellowship he earned a masters degree in public health from Harvard University in 2003 and subsequently worked in the NCIs Health Promotion Research Branch. Currently he is on faculty at Duke University in the Department of Community and Family Medicine. He conducts research on both cancer survivorship and cancer prevention. In the area of survivorship, Dr. Fuemmelers research has focused on psychological adjustment of cancer survivors and their families as well as secondary health-risk prevention. In the area of cancer prevention, Dr. Fuemmeler conducts research on the bio-psycho-social correlates related to modifiable cancer risk factors (e.g., smoking, physical activity, and obesity) from a life-course perspective. He is particularly interested in identifying salient bio-psycho-social factors in the transition from adolescence to young adulthood that would inform health promotion and prevention intervention science. His research is investigating parental and family factors that influence obesity and physical activity during youth, and child psychiatric conditions that have the potential to influence smoking risk. Dr. Fuemmeler is also working with collaborators from multiple disciplines at Duke University investigating candidate genes that regulate dopamine and serotonin in the brain in order to identify the potential relation that these genes have with obesity, physical activity, and smoking. To read more view his web page here .
Leafar Espinoza, Ph.D.
Academic: Graduated from OSU with Ph.D. in Psychology (2007) Completed internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO (2006 - 2008) Completed Masters of Public Health Degree at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2009)
Personal: I grew up in South Africa and moved to Oklahoma to pursue my graduate studies in Psychology. My love for psychology and my keen (though somewhat irreverent) wit earned me many friends and fun times at OSU. My external practicum at the OUHSC fostered my love for working with children and parents. My time at the Children's Mercy Hospital confirmed it! I decided to go back to school one last time to get an MPH degree from Hopkins. This provided the last piece of training I felt I needed to become an effective and well-rounded psychologist trained in developing and evaluating programs aimed at changing health behaviors while taking micro and macro-level factors into account. I also learned to write pithy sentences.
Dr. David Fedele, Ph.D.
Dr. David Fedele is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at the University of florida - Gainesville. At Oklahoma State, David was interested in examining parent adjustment in the context of pediatric chronic illnesses. David's current interests include examining parent adjustment in ethnic minorities. In particular, he is interested in investigating how multiple domains (e.g., health care system, culture, ethnicity) interact to create health care disparities in parents and families with asthma. David plans to complete a two year postdoctoral fellowship at Brown following internship.
Dr. Angelica Eddington, Ph.D.
Dr. Angelica Eddington is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Eddington was born in Memphis, TN and has been living in Arlington, Texas for over 20 years. This McNair Scholar graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science in psychology in May 2007. As an undergraduate she participated in Psi Chi and conducted research with patients that suffered from occupational chronic disorders. Under the direction of Dr. Larry L. Mullins, Angelica examined the issues of pediatric chronic illness with an emphasis on family and child adjustment.
Dr. Jamie Ryan, Ph.D.
Dr. Jamie Ryan is currently a postdoctorial fellow at Cincinnati Children's Medical Health Center. Born and raised in Iowa, Jamie graduated from Mount Mercy College with Bachelor of Arts degrees in psychology and criminal justice in 2005 and the University of Northern Iowa with a Master of Arts degree in clinical psychology in 2008. Her Master’s thesis examined the relationship between relational aggression and personality measures of empathy and impulsivity among college students. Under the tutelage of Drs. Mullins and Chaney, her Master’s thesis at OSU examined the longitudinal relation between parent and child adjustment in juvenile rheumatic disease. Jamie also examined the transactional relationship between parent attitudes toward their child’s juvenile rheumatic disease and child depressive symptomology.
Dr. Stephanie Hullman, Ph.D.
Dr. Stephanie Hullman is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Indiana Medical School. Stephanie is from Pottstown, Pennsylvania and received her bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, where she double majored in Psychology and Biology. Her master's thesis examined the role of parenting capacity variables and health-related quality of life in children with pediatric cancer and their caregivers. She has a particular interest in examining parent and child adjustment to pediatric cancer using a positive psychology framework. Stephanie's dissertation project examined posttraumatic stress and growth and psychophysiological adjustment in parents of children with cancer. Stephanie completed her predoctoral internship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center during the 2012-2013 academic year. Stephanie is also a member of the Student Advisory Board of the Society of Pediatric Psychology.
Ashley Junghans, Ph.D.
Dr. Ashley Junghans-Rutelonis is currently a second-year postdoctoral fellow at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dr. Junghans-Rutelonis was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, completed her Bachelor of Arts in Developmental Psychology from DePaul University in 2005, and worked for the Cook County Juvenile Court Clinic at the Northwestern University Law School following her undergraduate degree. While a graduate student at OSU, Dr. Junghans-Rutelonis worked under the direction of Dr. Larry Mullins. Her Master’s thesis examined the relationship between parental illness uncertainty, child illness uncertainty and parental distress in the juvenile rheumatic diseases. Her dissertation focused on the impact of disclosure of asthma on adolescents and young adults diagnosed with childhood-onset asthma. Dr. Junghans-Rutelonis completed her clinical internship at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she continued her work with children experiencing medical trauma and chronic illness.