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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Natalie Keirns, MS

Doctoral Candidate

Natalie is a sixth-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

Doctoral Candidate

Madison Stout is a fifth-year clinical psychology graduate student. Madison's research examines loneliness and social pain as psychosocial determinants and mechanisms of chronic health conditions, neurocognitive factors and their relation to the stress response (i.e., cortisol, inflammation), and psychosocial and neurocognitive factors that predict health behavior change (i.e., weight loss, HPV vaccination, and smoking cessation). Madison has matched for her pre-doctoral internship in clinical psychology at the Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care system and will complete her degree in summer 2023. In her free time, Madison is usually reading, crocheting, playing Mario Kart online with her sister, or scrolling through TikTok.

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Cindy Tsotsoros, MS

Doctoral Candidate

Cindy Tsotsoros is a fifth-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, MS

Graduate Student

Harley Layman is a third-year clinical psychology graduate student. She is currently funded by a NIH T32 training grant for doctoral biomedical researchers from underrepresented populations. Her research interests include investigating the relationship between mental and physical factors related to body image disturbance. Specifically, she is interested in examining how the internalization of and drive for different body ideals are associated with different eating and exercise behaviors, psychological factors (e.g., adverse childhood experiences), and physiological and neurocognitive consequences (i.e., inflammation and cognitive function). In her spare time, you can find her at the gym, walking her dog, Winston, watching Greys Anatomy, and playing games with friends. 



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.


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!


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.