Principal Investigator

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Dr. Misty Hawkins

Lab Director, Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University

The REACH Lab is run by Dr. Misty A.W. Hawkins, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at OSU. Dr. Hawkins is a clinical health psychologist and behavioral medicine researcher on a mission to understand the relationships between emotional factors (e.g. depression), cognitive factors (e.g., executive function), chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease) and health behaviors (e.g., eating, exercise, breastfeeding). She believes that understanding how the way we feel and think impacts our physical health (and vice versa) is the first step in combating hard-to-treat health conditions like obesity or promoting healthy behaviors like exercise and breastfeeding. When she's not doing research, Dr. Hawkins uses Netflix, Hulu, and PBS shows to keep her motivated on the treadmill (e.g., Downton Abbey, Drop Dead Diva, Dexter). Of course, running after and snuggling with her toddler helps keep happiness well within reach.


GRADUATE Researchers

Graduate students bring the ideas and drive that make the REACH Lab successful.

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Caitlin Smith, MS

Doctoral Candidate

Caitlin is a sixth-year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program at Oklahoma State University currently on internship at MUSC. Her research focuses on evaluating mechanisms of metabolic impairment that result from problematic behaviors and disease states (e.g., cigarette/e-cigarette smoking, obesity, diabetes). Caitlin's dissertation study, New E-Cigarettes and Metabolic Outcomes (NEMO), will evaluate the impact of non-sweet vs. sweet e-cigarette use on glucoregulatory and inflammatory markers. She is also interested in identifying predictors of earl response to obesity treatment (e.g. weight loss success in the first four weeks of intervention) that will inform the development of future brief behavioral weight loss interventions and improve metabolic health. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys baking, crafting, watching TV-shows on Netflix (i.e., Lie to Me, Stranger Things, The Office), hanging out with friends, and spending time with her adorable cat, Glimmer. 


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Natalie Keirns, MS

Doctoral Candidate, Clinical Research Coordinator, NICE SPACES Trial

Natalie is a fifth-year clinical psychology graduate student at OSU. She is currently funded by a NIH F31 Ruth L. Kirschstein Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award which investigates the acute inflammatory effects of weight stigma. More broadly, her primary research interests involve discovering ways to utilize interactions between mental and physical health to improve overall well-being. Past and current projects have included issues of obesity, weight loss, weight stigma. eating behaviors, and psychosocial well-being. Outside of work, Natalie can probably be found watching Netflix with her friends and family or talking about her dog. She also enjoys good food & hanging with her lab mates. 


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Madison Stout, MS

Graduate Student, Clinical Research Coordinator NICE SPACES Trial

Madison Stout is a fourth-year clinical psychology graduate student. Madison's research examines psychosocial predictors of behavior change in cancer prevention (i.e. weight loss, smoking cessation, and vaccination), as well as psychosocial outcomes and mechanisms of sexual dysfunction in women. Outside of work, Madison tries to keep up with comedy, film, and pop culture. She has 11 nieces and nephews, and spends a lot of her free time FaceTiming them. 

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Cindy Tsotsoros, MS

Graduate Student

Cindy Tsotsoros is a fourth-year experimental psychology graduate student with research interests include cognitive development and working memory among older adults. With a master’s degree in gerontology, Cindy’s research primarily focuses on older adults and the aging brain. Currently, her projects examine time perspective, social isolation, psychosocial well-being, and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that affect health. When not at school, you can find Cindy crafting, gardening, knitting, or felting alpaca hair! 


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Harley Layman, BA

Graduate Student

Harley is a second-year clinical psychology graduate student. Her research interests include investigating the relationship between mental and physical factors related to obesity. Specifically, she is interested in examining how different eating and exercise behaviors, as well as psychological factors, influence obesity and other body image factors. In her spare time, Harley enjoys exploring outside and being active, going for walks with her golden doodle, Winston, or binge watching Friends, Shameless, and The Bachelor



Our team of motivated and high-achieving undergraduate students make the REACH Lab research come to life while they receive valuable training experiences to help them succeed in fields like psychology, medicine, public health, nursing, counseling, etc.


McKenzie Boyd

McKenzie is a junior studying psychology with a Pre-Med option. After graduation, she plans on going to medical school, pursuing an M.D. degree. She wants to perform research in the field of neurology, specifically focusing on the causes of some neurodegenerative diseases and formulating preventative treatment options. In her free time, McKenzie likes to read, hang out with friends, and watch cat videos on YouTube.​


Austin Medlin

Year: Junior
Major: Psychology and Mathematics
Research interests: Traumatic childhood experiences and how they impact individuals as they age
Grad school: I plan to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology
For fun: Drink coffee while hanging out with friends!

Garrison Keithline

Garrison is majoring in Physiology with a minor in Psychology. He is interested in pharmacology and how different substances effect the brain and cognitive processes; how disorders such as ADHD, depression, and substance abuse change neurological processes and alter a persons physiological functioning. He likes being active, running or doing yoga, spending time with family, friends, and his pug Leo. After graduation he plans to pursue a Masters degree to further his understanding of physiology and psychology before attending medical school. 


Alex Phillips

Alex Phillips is a senior getting her bachelor of arts in psychology along with a philosophy minor. After graduation she plans on either getting a doctorate in clinical psychology or a masters in mental health counseling. Her research interests focus on abnormal psychology, specifically focused on eating disorders and related health effects from disordered eating. In her free time, you'll find her cheering on the pokes at almost every home sport or spending time with friends.


Auri Sparks

Auri Sparks is a junior studying Microbiology. After graduation, she plans to either do research as a medical laboratory scientist or attend Nursing school to become an ER Nurse Practitioner. When she's not studying, she enjoys going on spontaneous adventures with friends, cooking, and working out. 

Roxanne Baker

Roxanne is a psychology major with a concentration in pre-medical. She is graduating a year early in May 2020, with plans to attend medical school. Specifically, Roxanne wants to become a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. A D.O. is similar to an M.D. but is taught based on a holistic philosophy. Her research interest is in how mental health and physical health interact with each other. In her free time, you will catch Roxanne either watching Netflix, reading, or planning her wedding.

Kali Coplon