Principal Investigator

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Michael Businelle, PhD

Co-Director of the TSET Health Promotion Research Center, Director of the mHealth Shared Resource at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center, Professor, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine

Michael Businelle was recruited to the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in 2015 to develop and direct the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center Mobile Health (mHealth) Shared Resource. The mHealth resource is staffed by 4 computer scientists/engineers, a program management team (2 FTE), and a Quality Assurance team (3 FTEs). The InsightTM platform enables researchers to rapidly create mobile applications that can use ecological momentary assessments (EMA) and sensor data (i.e., activity monitor, mobile carbon monoxide monitor, e-cigarette device) to identify environmental, cognitive, affective, physiological, and behavioral antecedents of health risk behaviors (e.g., smoking, heavy alcohol use, poor diet / inactivity / obesity, etc.) and deliver context-specific adaptive interventions in real-time. To date, the mHealth resource has supported 82 research studies (42 NIH funded, 5 studies have collected data outside the US – Cambodia, Laos, and Scotland; 5 languages [English, Spanish, Khmer, Vietnamese, and Lao]).

Since 2011, Dr. Businelle has been the PI on 20 studies that have been funded by the NIH, ACS, and internal funds and he has a strong publication record (i.e., over 170 peer reviewed publications) in the areas of smoking cessation, health disparities, and mHealth. Eighteen of his previous studies collected EMA data to identify mechanisms of health risk behaviors and 14 studies have used smartphones to intervene to improve health behaviors in real-time. His primary goal is to improve understanding of the causes of health disparities and to create and disseminate effective smartphone based just-in-time adaptive interventions (JITAIs) that reduce health disparities

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

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Lizbeth "Libby" Benson, PhD

Lizbeth “Libby” Benson, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center. Libby earned her BA in Psychology with honors from the University of Wisconsin Madison, spent three years working as a research coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, and most recently earned her PhD from the Pennsylvania State University in the department of Human Development and Family Studies. Libby’s research program is focused on developing analytic methods for intensive longitudinal data captured in situ and in real time by wearable sensors in order to advance the knowledge base on positive health and human development. Data visualization is also an important component of her work as a way to better understand complex behavioral processes, to generate new ideas, and to use as a tool for scientific communication. As a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Libby is excited to integrate an applied component into her research program by working with her mentor, Dr. Michael Businelle, and others at the HPRC on methods for analyzing mHealth intervention data, and computational modeling methods for building context and time sensitive mHealth programs.

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Sarah Tonkin, PhD

Sarah Tonkin, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the TSET Health Promotion Research Center at the OU Health Stephenson Cancer Center. Sarah earned her BS in Psychology from Penn State University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from The State University of New York at Buffalo. She completed her clinical internship at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Sarah’s research seeks to identify psychological treatment mechanisms for smoking cessation and address treatment disparities by examining how these processes vary in populations that tend to benefit less from smoking interventions. To answer these questions, Sarah uses a translational approach by examining laboratory and “real-world” measurement of behavior, affect, and cognition.

Bingjing Mao, PhD

Dr. Bingjing Mao began her postdoctoral research fellowship at the HPRC in August 2022 after earning her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from the University of Miami. Dr. Mao’s research program involves the intersection between media psychology, digital technology, and cancer communication. Specifically, her research aims to understand the cognitive mechanisms through which interactions in a technology-mediated environment can impact health outcomes. Additionally, she is interested in the emotional processes behind health decision-making. As a research fellow at the HPRC, Dr. Mao can envision contributing to the multidisciplinary scholarship of digital health by working with her mentors Drs. Michael Businelle and Jordan Neil. 

Ruosi "Rose" Shao, PhD

Dr. Ruosi (Rose) Shao began her fellowship at the HPRC in August 2022 after earning her Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University in the College of Communications. Dr. Shao’s research focuses on leveraging communication technologies for social support and health intervention. She is passionate about mental health, emotion regulation, and the potential of artificial intelligence in fulfilling the social role of a companion for people with chronic conditions. Methodologically, she is interested in involving intensive longitudinal data and passive sensing data in mHealth to promote effective and targeted intervention. Primary Mentor: Michael Businelle and Jordan Neil (August 2022-present)

Research Staff

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Krista Kezbers, PhD, DipACLM, ACSM-EIM

Senior Program Manager

Krista Kezbers joined the TSET HPRC in July 2021 after spending 4 years as a Research Associate at OU-Tulsa. She earned her PhD in Health and Human Performance from Oklahoma State University in 2017 and her dissertation focused on the health and well-being of sports coaches. Krista received a masters degree in Kinesiology from The University of Texas and an undergraduate degree in Kinesiology from The University of Minnesota. Her research interests revolve around improving the health and lifestyle behaviors of individuals in unique populations. 

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Audrey Montgomery

Senior Research Coordinator

Audrey Montgomery joined the TSET HPRC in January 2020 as a research technician. She previously worked as a licensed professional counseling candidate after receiving her Master of Education in Professional Counseling from the University of Oklahoma. Audrey completed her undergraduate research experience at the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Applied Social Research (CASR). She worked on multiple research projects focused on the relationship between attitudes in ideological Internet discussions and emotion and communication strategies. Her current research interests include the use of mobile health technology for mental health interventions among chronic smokers and cancer patients. 

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Meghan Neumann

Research Project Coordinator

Meghan Neumann joined the TSET HPRC in March 2020 as a research technician. She received her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, she assisted in research in the department of Entomology and Plant Pathology. Her current research interests include the combination of mobile health technology and epidemiology for community health monitoring.

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Jillian Robison

Research Project Coordinator

Jillian Robison joined the TSET HPRC in the spring of 2020. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma where she completed undergraduate research in the Visual Neuroscience Laboratory. Previous research focus was on the effects of iron deficiency on perception, memory and cognition. Her current research interests include the utilization of mobile health technology as a predictor into future health-related behaviors of an individual.

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Irene De La Torre, B.S., BHCM2

Research Project Coordinator

Irene De La Torre joined the TSEST HPRC in February 2021. She received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a minor in Philosophy with an Honors distinction from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, she was an undergraduate research assistant in the Child Adaptation and Maternal Psychopathology Laboratory and an assistant in the Psychological Service Center. She was rewarded the Psychology departmental outstanding senior award in Spring 2020. Prior to joining the team, she worked as a Level 2 Behavioral Case Manager in charge of the COMPASS Transitional Housing Program at HOPE Community services. Her current research interest include the use of mobile health technology for health promotion in vulnerable populations.

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Danielle Walters

Research Project Coordinator

Danielle Walters joined our team in 2021. Her past experiences include working on several research projects, with topics ranging from the validation of a new social anxiety measure to the prevalence and features regarding Trypophobia (the fear of holes). She has been cited as an author on a published scientific paper regarding Trypophobia, and has presented research at several different conferences regarding her work. Danielle believes that psychological research can be used, not only to inform, but also to enhance and enrich lives through understand and application. Danielle holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from New Mexico Highlands University.

Carl Witten

Research Project Coordinator

Carl Witten joined the TSET HPRC in April of 2022. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Missouri State University. While at Missouri State, Carl worked with Board Certified analysts to provide behavior interventions for children with developmental disabilities. Once out of grad school he worked with the F.A.A. In Oklahoma City performing human factors research on multiple flight-deck projects. Research interests include motivation, and everything related to how organizations operate as functional groups.

Nadia Stanley

Research Technician

Nadia Stanley joined the TSET HPRC in August 2021. She received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Human Relations from the University of Oklahoma. While at OU, Nadia was an undergraduate research assistant in the OU Memory Lab and focused primarily on the complexities of eyewitness memory. Her current research interests include the use of mobile health technology to promote health in individuals from diverse backgrounds.

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Clayton Ulm

Research Technician

Clayton Ulm joined the TSET HPRC in January 2022 after completing his B.S. in Psychology with Summa Cum Laude distinction from the University of Oklahoma. At OU, he volunteered for three labs, assisting in the meta-analysis of the psychometric, the Berlin Numeracy Test (BNT); he co-authored a paper on consumer identification and risk perception of milk products; and presented papers on the validity of the BNT in predicting risky behavior in those suffering from acute coronary syndrome. His research interests involve scalable nudges that ameliorate the mental health problems caused by unhealthy behaviors.

Blayne Barker

Research Technician

Blayne Barker joined the TSET HPRC in May 2022. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a Summa Cum Laude distinction from Oklahoma State University. While at OSU, Blayne was an undergraduate research assistant in the Cognition, Attention, Law & Memory (CALM) Lab and the Cultivating Opportunities that Lead to Equity (COLE) Lab. Her current research interests include using mobile health technology to address how discrimination and prejudice affect mental health and health behaviors in underrepresented populations.

Jessica "Jess" Becerra

Research Technician

Jessica (Jess) Becerra, M.S., is a fifth year Ph.D. student in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Oklahoma. She is currently working on her dissertation which is focused on examining whether collaboration can improve memory for binding of real-world object features. She received her M.S. in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Oklahoma and B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University. She joined the TSET HPRC in May 2022 as a research technician. Her current research interests include the use of mobile health technology for health promotion in vulnerable populations and chronic smokers.  

Lab Alumni

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Emily Hébert, DrPH

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Chris Neal

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Madison Stout

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Rachel Moisiuc

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Angela Helt

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Tanushri Bhushan

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Subekchhya Subedi

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Mary Williams

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LaQuita McDade

Jiwon (Jennie) Min

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Karen Ra