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Lab Personnel


April Smith, Ph.D. she/her/hers

Associate Professor 

Dr. Smith is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Auburn University and the director of the Research on Eating Disorders and Suicidality (REDS) Laboratory. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Plan II from the University of Texas at Austin in 2004. She then taught English in Japan for two years as part of the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program. Dr. Smith received her Ph.D. from Florida State University’s Clinical Psychology Program in 2012, and completed her clinical residency at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Smith was named a 2016 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science, and in 2017 Dr. Smith received the Miami University Junior Faculty Scholar Award. Dr. Smith has received funding from NIMH and the Department of Defense to support her work. 


Shruti Kinkel-Ram, M.A. she/her/hers

Shruti is a fifth-year clinical psychology PhD student at Miami University. She is interested in researching shared vulnerabilities and cause and maintenance factors underlying eating disorders and suicide. She is particularly interested in exploring the role of interoceptive awareness and weight stigma in eating disorder and suicide severity, and in exploring these topics using novel statistical methods such as network analysis in her research. Shruti received her B.S. in Psychology from Centre College in 2017, and spent two years as a lab manager and research coordinator at the Eating Anxiety Treatment Lab at the University of Louisville. 


Will Grunewald, M.A. he/him/his

Will is a fourth-year clinical Psychology PhD student at Auburn University. His research interests include identifying risk factors for disordered eating, body image disturbance, and suicidality, with a particular emphasis on these risk factors among vulnerable populations. He also studies the overlap between conformity to masculine norms and Muscle Dysmorphia. Originally from San Diego, Will graduated with his B.S. in Social Psychology from the University of California, San Diego in 2018. He later earned his Master's degree in Psychology from San Diego State University in 2020, where he studied body image, eating pathology, and suicidal behavior in sexual minority populations.


Taylor Stanley, M.A. she/her/hers

Taylor is a fourth-year clinical psychology PhD student at Auburn University. Her research interests broadly include risk and maintaining mechanisms of disordered eating, the co-occurrence of disordered eating and substance use, and improving psychological assessment and treatment services to the bariatric surgery population. Taylor is originally from Richmond, Virginia and graduated with her B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Experimental Psychology from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia (Go Dukes!). 


Olivia Clancy, M.S. she/her/hers

Olivia is a second-year clinical psychology PhD student at Auburn University. She is broadly interested in further understanding risk factors for disordered eating and other self-injurious behaviors, particularly on a momentary level. Originally from New York, Olivia received her B.S. in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies from New York University in 2020. She later earned her M.S. in Psychology from Drexel University where she researched technology augmentations to evidence-based treatments for eating disorders while serving as a research coordinator for the Center for Weight, Eating, and Lifestyle Science (WELL Center).

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Rachel Frietchen, B.S. she/her/hers

Rachel is a first-year clinical psychology Ph.D. student at Auburn University. Her research interests include using ecological momentary assessment to examine proximal risk factors for nonsuicidal self-injury, disordered eating, and suicide. She is also interested in examining risk and protective factors for these behaviors in sexual and gender minority communities. Prior to graduate school, Rachel completed her undergraduate degree at George Mason University. She then completed a post-bac RA position at Butler Hospital working on a project examining novel risk factors for suicide in a psychiatric inpatient sample. 


Marley Billman Miller, B.S. she/her/hers

Marley is a first-year clinical psychology PhD student at Auburn University. Her research primarily explores individual differences in the development and maintenance of disordered eating and associations between restrictive eating behaviors, nonsuicidal self-injury, and suicide. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Penn State in 2020, then served as the clinical research coordinator for the Division of Adolescent Medicine at the Penn State College of Medicine for three years, where her research focused on eating disorders and gender health in adolescents.  


Rylee Lusich she/her/hers

Rylee is the full-time project coordinator for the REDS Lab's R01 grant "Investigating mechanisms linking anorexia nervosa, suicide ideation, and suicide attempts," a collaboration with Dr. Cheri Levinson at the University of Louisville. Rylee will earn her undergraduate degree from Auburn University in December 2023 where she majored in Psychology and minored in Counseling. She intends to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology. and is interested in interoception research, specifically the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and eating pathology. She also has interest in different ARFID measures and treatments. Outside of school, she likes to read and spend time with friends and family!



Dr. Tracy Witte, Auburn University

Suicidal Behavior & Psychopathology Lab

Dr. Tiffany Brown, Auburn University


Dr. Jonathan Kunstman, Auburn University

Kunstman Lab

Dr. Jeffrey Hunger, Miami University

Hunger Lab

Dr. Vaishali Raval, Miami University


Dr. Cheri Levinson, University of Louisville

EAT Lab & Clinic

Alsana Treatment Center

Research Assistants


Palmer Dykes is a senior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counseling and Business. After graduation, she plans to pursue graduate studies in psychology. She is particularly interested in sports psychology, trauma, and eating disorders. She likes to spend her free time with her family, friends, and her two fur babies. 

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Walton Ferguson is studying Psychology and Mathematics at Auburn University. He intends to pursue graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. His main research interests are clinical interventions targeting depression and motivation. Outside of his studies, Walton spends his time reading and writing down ideas, wake-surfing on the river, and playing the drums in the Auburn Marching Band.


Elena Gagliano is a senior majoring in Psychology and Human Development and Family Science with minors in Statistics, Counseling, and Gender Studies. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on children/adolescents. Her interests include developmental psychopathology, trauma, and expanding access to evidence-based mental health treatments. 

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Leah Jha is studying Psychology with a minor in Counseling at Auburn University. After graduation, she plans to pursue her PhD in clinical psychology with a focus on psychopathology and trauma. Her overall goal is to increase awareness surrounding various mental health topics.


Lauren Hayes is a junior at Auburn University majoring in psychology and minoring in counseling. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school in clinical psychology. She is particularly interested in child and adolescent psychology. Outside of her studies, she enjoys baking, playing pickleball, and spending time with friends


Alex Mills is a junior at Auburn University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counseling. After graduation, she intends to go to graduate school to pursue her Doctorate Degree. Her interests include mental health counseling, psychopathology, and trauma. Alex's ultimate goal is to reach a wide variety of populations as a psychotherapist. 

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Lily Wilson is a junior at Auburn University majoring in Biomedical Sciences and minoring in Spanish. After graduation, she plans to go to medical school. Outside of her studies, Lily is the Vice President of the Alpha Chi Omega chapter at Auburn University. She looks forward to her time in the REDS Lab as she hopes to pursue the field of Child/Adolescent Psychiatry following medical school.


Ashley Elder is a junior at Auburn University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Counseling. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a PsyD in Counseling or Clinical Psychology. She is specifically interested in psychotherapy, sports psychology, child psychology, and mental health treatments. Ashley hopes to pursue a career as a counseling psychologist in the future. Outside of school, she enjoys running, swimming, volunteering, being with animals and spending time with friends. 


Sophie Berry is a senior at Auburn University, majoring in Psychology with minors in Counseling and International Studies for Human Sciences. After graduation, she plans to pursue a master's degree in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. Sophie aims to become a counselor dedicated to providing guidance to those in need, with a specialization in eating disorders for both males and females. She is passionate about building connections and relationships and aspires to make a meaningful impact on everyone she encounters.

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