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Dr. Mullins is currently the Vaughn Vennerberg II Chair of Psychology and Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1983 and 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. 

Larry L. Mullins, Ph.D.

Director and Vaughn Vennerberg II Chair of Psychology and Regents Professor


Dr. Chaney is currently Regents Professor and Director of the Center for American Indian Studies at OSU. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1991. Dr. Chaney's primary area of research addresses psychosocial adjustment challenges in youth with a variety of pediatric chronic illnesses. Currently, Dr. Chaney and his lab are initiating a collaborative investigation with faculty at the OU Health Sciences Center that examines adjustment outcomes in youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

John M. Chaney, Ph.D.

Regents Professor

Affiliate Faculty

Amanda Baraldi, Ph.D.

Dr. Baraldi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology whose expertise is in quantitative psychology. Dr. Baraldi's research focuses on evaluating and applying advanced statistical methods to psychological, prevention, and health research.  Her current research interests include missing data analyses, methods for assessing mediation, longitudinal growth modeling, and health and prevention research. Dr. Baraldi will provide much needed statistical support for the Center.

Thad Leffingwell, Ph.D.

Dr. Leffingwell is a clinical health psychologist and Professor and Head in the Department of Psychology at Oklahoma State University. Dr. Leffingwell is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and a founding member of the Motivational Interviewing Community of Practice in Oklahoma.  Dr. Leffingwell’s research interests include brief motivational interventions for health behavior change and motivational predictors of self-directed and assisted behavior change. 

Alayna P. Tackett, Ph.D.

Dr. Tackett is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology and The Center for Tobacco Research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). Her research primarily focuses on tobacco regulatory science. Current projects examine the health effects and behavioral correlates associated with emerging tobacco products like e-cigarettes and non-medicinal oral nicotine products. Dr. Tackett also conducts research identifying methods to reduce children's exposure to secondhand aerosol from non-combustible tobacco products. Her secondary research examines how psychosocial and socioeconomic variables impact the management of pediatric food allergy. Current projects examine perceptions of food allergen risk, difficulties in obtaining allergen-free foods, food insecurity, and general management of food allergies with the ultimate goal of developing clinically effective methods for reducing allergen exposure. Dr. Tackett hopes to provide training opportunities and mentorship to trainees of the Center for Pediatric Psychology as well as enhance collaborative efforts to improve child and adolescent health.

Misty Hawkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Hawkins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Wellness Design at Indiana University. Dr. Hawkins is a clinical health psychologist and behavioral medicine researcher on a mission to understand the relationships between cognitive factors (e.g., executive function), emotional factors (e.g. depression), chronic diseases (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease) and health behaviors (e.g., eating, exercise) as they exist in and are impacted by larger socioeconomic contexts. As an Affiliate member of the Center for Pediatric Psychology, she hopes to empower parents and children to meet their goals for healthy weight management.

Amy Wisniewski, Ph.D.

Dr. Wisniewski received her BA in Neuroscience from Oberlin College in 1994 and her PhD in Experimental Psychology from The Johns Hopkins University in 1999.  She completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Endocrinology in 2002 from The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Wisniewski’s research examines behavioral, medical and surgical outcomes of children and adults affected by disorders of sex development (DSD).

Ted Wagener, Ph.D.

Dr. Wagener is a professor and endowed chair in the Department of Internal Medicine at The Ohio State University, and also serves as the Director of the Center for Tobacco Research and co-leader of the Cancer Control Program at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). Dr. Wagener conducts research on tobacco regulatory science, including evaluating the behavioral, pharmacological, and toxicological effects of cigarette and non-cigarette tobacco products, such as electronic cigarettes and hookah. He also has expertise in developing motivational, enhancement-based smoking cessation and secondhand smoke reduction interventions for children of parents who smoke.

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Carrick Carter, Psy.D.

Carrick Carter, PsyD is an Assistant Professor and the Director of Psychological Services for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. She completed at BS in Human Development and Family Sciences from Oklahoma State University and her Doctorate of Psychology from Wheaton College. Her work focuses on clinical service, education, and research with the goal of promoting resilience in youth with cancer and blood disorders.

Advisory Board

David Elkin, Ph.D.

Dr. Elkin is a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Executive Director of the Center for Advancement of Youth (CAY) at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Kevin Hommel, Ph.D.

Dr. Hommel is a tenured Professor of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) and the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, he is currently the Director of the Center for Health Technology Research at CCHMC, and his research focuses on the use of technology to improve self-management in pediatric chronic conditions.

Ahna L. H. Pai, Ph.D.

Dr. Pai is the Director of the Patient and Family Wellness Center in the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute and a Professor of Pediatrics in Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from Oklahoma State University.

Bernard Fuemmeler, Ph.D., MPH

Dr. Fuemmeler is a Professor and Gordon D. Ginder, MD Endowed Chair in Cancer Research and Associate Director of Cancer Prevention and Control at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Massey Cancer Center. Dr. Fuemmeler holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Oklahoma State University and an MPH from Harvard University in epidemiology.

David Janicke, Ph.D., ABPP

Dr. Janicke is a Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology in the College of Public Health and Health Professions at the University of Florida.

Eugene Walker, Ph.D.

Dr. Walker is currently Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. For the majority of his later career (1974-1998), he served as Professor and Director of Pediatric Psychology Training, University of Oklahoma Medical School and Co-Chief of Mental Health Services, Oklahoma Children's Hospital, Oklahoma City. Dr. Walker is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the field of Pediatric Psychology and a pioneer in conducting research with children with chronic health issues.

Stephen Gillaspy, Ph.D.

Dr. Gillaspy is the Senior Director, Health Care Financing Practice Directorate at the American Psychological Association. He was formerly an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center since 2005. His research is in the areas of pediatric obesity, tobacco control, mental health screening, health disparities, and medical education.

Institutional & Community Partnerships

Our in-state partners include Pediatric Psychology Faculty and Pediatricians at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City as well as the JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities in Norman, OK. Out-of-state partners that we have worked with in the past or currently work with on research projects include the Intramural Branch of NIH, University of Mississippi Medical Center, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Cornell University Medical Center, University of San Francisco Medical Center, Washington University Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Hospital Center, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Cook Children’s Hospital of Fort Worth, and Denver Children’s Hospital.

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