Lab Personnel


April Smith, PhD

James and Beth Lewis Associate Professor 

Dr. Smith is currently the James and Beth Lewis Associate Professor of Psychology at Miami 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. More information about Dr. Smith can be found on the Miami University Department of Psychology website.



Shelby Ortiz is a fourth-year clinical psychology PhD student at Miami University. Her research interests include exploring the factors affecting the development and maintenance of eating disorders and studying the effectiveness of treatments. Originally from the Virginia Beach area, Shelby received her B.A. in both Psychology and Biology from Wake Forest University in 2014. She then spent a year writing curriculum and working as a group facilitator for a non-profit organization before moving to Philadelphia to work as the research coordinator for The Renfrew Center. Her two years there were spent studying eating disorder pathology and related comorbidities and she is thrilled to continue this type of research at Miami.


Natalie Perkins is a third-year Clinical Psychology PhD student at Miami University. She is broadly interested in eating disorders, nonsuicidal self-injury, and suicide, with a particular interest in the comorbidity of eating disorders and NSSI and how these conditions translate to increased suicide risk. Originally from Southern Kentucky, Natalie graduated from Western Kentucky University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychological Science and a minor in Nutrition. She later completed her master’s degree at WKU in Psychology with an emphasis in Clinical Science in 2018, where she studied suicidal behavior and nonsuicidal self-injury in adolescents and young adults.


Shruti Shankar Ram is a second-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 is a first-year clinical Psychology PhD student at Miami 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. 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.  


Nikhil Singh is a first-year clinical psychology Ph.D. student at Miami University. He is primarily interested in studying cultural contexts of suicidal behavior among minoritized youth and the implications of these contexts for youth suicide interventions. Originally from Chandler, Arizona, Nikhil graduated from Case Western Reserve University in 2018 with a B.A. in Psychology and Cognitive Science. Before coming to Miami University, he spent two years working as an intern at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. As an intern, he studied suicide risk assessment and interventions in emergency department patients and immigrant youth. He is thrilled to continue this work at Miami University.


Jacob Chamberlin is a project coordinator for two Department of Defense funded studies in the REDS Lab at Miami University. His main research interests lie in suicidality, depression, and motivation. Jacob graduated from the University of Kansas in 2017 with a B.G.S. in Psychology and a minor in Business. He later completed his M.S. in Kinesiology at Miami University in 2019. 


Lab Alumni


Dorian Dodd, PhD, completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Miami University in the summer of 2020. Her main research interests are in the areas of eating disorders, suicidality, and non-suicidal self-injury. Dorian completed her undergraduate studies at SUNY Binghamton, and prior to entering graduate school spent several years working as a Research Assistant and Research Project Manager at McLean Psychiatric Hospital. Dorian recently completed her predoctoral internship at the State University of New York - Buffalo. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow on a NIMH Mid-west Eating Disorders T32 at Sanford Behavioral in Fargo, ND, with Dr. Stephen Wonderlich and colleagues. 



Lauren Forrest, PhD, completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Miami University in the summer of 2020. She researches the development of eating disorders and suicidality, and specifically the development of suicidality in people with eating disorders. Lauren graduated from the University of Utah in 2012 with an Honors BS in Psychology. Before beginning graduate school, she worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Brain Institute of the University of Utah and the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Lauren recently completed her predoctoral internship at Yale University. She is currently a Postdoctoral Psychology Associate in Eating/Weight Disorders at Yale with Dr. Carlos Grilo and colleagues. 



Lisa Velkoff is a doctoral candidate in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D program at Miami University. Her research interests are in eating disorders, non-suicidal self-injury, and suicidal behavior, with a particular focus on identifying proximal indicators of risk. Lisacompleted her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology and English. Lisa has worked in a number of research labs examining such areas as cognitive functioning in depression, media influence on body image, and cortisol activity in response to interpersonal stress. She joined the REDS lab in 2014 as a research coordinator. Lisa will be completing her predoctoral internship at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the 2020-2021 year.  



Dr. Elise Clerkin, Miami University


Dr. Jonathan Kunstman, Miami University

Kunstman Lab

Dr. Jeffrey Hunger, Miami University

Hunger Lab

Dr. Tracy Witte, Auburn University

Suicidal Behavior & Psychopathology Lab

Dr. Joseph Franklin, Florida State University

Technology and Psychopathology Lab

Dr. Jessica Ribeiro, Florida State University

Ribeiro Lab

Dr. Cheri Levinson, University of Louisville

EAT Lab & Clinic

Lindner Center of Hope

Undergraduate Research Assistants


Katherine McCracken is a junior at Miami University from Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a psychology and neuroscience co-major. After graduating from Miami, she plans to go to graduate school for clinical neuropsychology. Katherine is an executive member of Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and also a puppy sitter for Paws for a Cause. She spends most of her free time with her friends, family, two cats, and two dogs.


Will Morgan is currently a senior Psychology and Pre-medical Studies major. Will plans to go to graduate school and get his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Some of his research interests include: trauma, suicidality, and depression. Outside of his studies, Will enjoys running, hiking, and arranging music. This is Will's 3rd year working in the REDS Lab at Miami University as an RA.


Samantha Ives is in her sophomore year at Miami. She has been an RA in the REDS Lab since the Spring Semester of 2019. She is also a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority and MU College Democrats. Outside of school, she likes to hammock with her friends and travel. 


Kristina Miljkovic is a junior at Miami University and this will be her third year working in the REDS Lab. She is a psychology major with a double minor in neuroscience and dance. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to obtain a degree in clinical psychology. Along with being apart of the REDS Lab, Kristina is also a member of Miami University Fashion and Design and Delta Zeta


Emma Moughan is a psychology major entering her junior year at Miami University. This will be her second year as an RA in the REDS Lab. Emma is a member of the Chi Omega sorority and participates in numerous other organizations on campus.  In her free time, Emma enjoys hanging out with her friends, her family, and her two cats and brand new puppy. 


Hannah Rozenson is a junior Psychology and Public Health Administration double major from Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduation, she intends to pursue a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology with a focus on child psychology and depression. On campus, she is a part of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and in her free time, enjoys spending time with friends and playing with her nephew and nieces. She loves working in the REDs lab and is exciting to continue in the coming semesters! 


Callie Zeifang is currently a rising senior at Miami University from San Francisco, CA, majoring in Psychology with a minor in Marketing. Callie is a member of Alpha Chi Omega and Psi Chi. Outside of her studies, she likes to cook, workout, and spend time with her loved ones. After graduation, Callie hopes to go to graduate school with a focus on studying Clinical Psychology. This will be her first semester involved with the REDS Lab. 


Elyse Naples is a junior at Miami University majoring in Psychology, with a Child Studies and Youth Development Minor, as well as a Human Capital Management & Leadership minor. She is involved in The Body Project and Psi Chi, in addition to the REDS Lab. Outside of psychology, Elyse is dedicated to her all-female a capella group, "The Treblemakers," and loves spending time with her Phi Mu sorority sisters. After college, Elyse plans to attend graduate school to earn her masters in a clinical psychology program.


Ellie Abrams is a sophomore at Miami university double majoring in Psychology and Speech Pathology and Audiology. After graduating, she plans to go to graduate school for either neuropsychology or clinical psychology. She is a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority and in her free time, enjoys spending time with friends and journaling. This is her first year working in the REDS Lab and is very excited to gain knowledge and experience with research. 


Abby Tietjen is currently a second-year psychology major and neuroscience co-major. After undergrad, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Outside of class Abby figure skates with Miami's Intercollegiate team. This is Abby's first year working in the REDS Lab at Miami University as an RA.


Courtney Waters is a junior Psychology and Neuroscience co-major from Cleveland, Ohio. This will be her first semester working in REDS labs and she is very excited to join. After graduating, she hopes to pursue a PhD in clinical and translational neuroscience. 

Madeline Davis is a junior at Miami University. She is double majoring in Psychology and Journalism. She has been a research assistant at the REDS Lab since the fall semester of 2019. Outside of school, Madeline is part of the Zeta Delta chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.