Lab Members and Alumni

Michael R. Nadorff, Ph.D., Director

Dr. Nadorff received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 2007 with degrees in Psychology and Computer Applications.  He received his master’s and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at West Virginia University and completed his clinical residency at Baylor College of Medicine.  Dr. Nadorff’s research interests involve the relations between sleep disorders, suicidal behavior, and aging. A particular focus of Dr. Nadorff’s work has been examining the relation between insomnia symptoms, nightmares, and suicidal behavior.  Dr. Nadorff is also interested in changes in suicidal behavior with age and investigating the efficacy and effectiveness of sleep treatments such as Cogntive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for nightmares.  Dr. Nadorff has received funding from SAMHSA, NIMH, and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health, recruiting more than $3.4 million in extramural funding to MSU.

Doctoral Students

Anisha Thomas, M.A.

Anisha is a fourth year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Western Kentucky University. Her thesis examined the impact of distress tolerance and social support on self-directed violence among Black college students. She then moved to the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where she worked as a clinic coordinator and counselor for a specialty trauma clinic. Following her time there, Anisha returned to Kentucky and worked as a clinician at both a behavioral health hospital and crisis stabilization unit. Anisha’s primary areas of interest include emotion regulation, suicidality, and the experience of chronic and traumatic stress among Blacks and other marginalized groups.

Ashley Pate, B.S.

Ashley is a third year graduate student in the Clinical Psychology PhD program. She received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in women and gender studies from the University of Southern Mississippi. While there, she became interested in and pursued research on suicidal ideation among sexual minority individuals. Upon graduating, Ashley went to work as a behavior technician and a recreation adviser at an inpatient state psychiatric hospital in Florida. Experiences working with clients within that facility served to further her interest in pursuing research to help better understand and prevent suicide. Specifically, Ashley is interested in examining risk factors and resiliency among minority groups, particularly sexual and gender minorities, and how these factors may differ based upon intersecting identities.

Courtney Bolstad, B.S.

Courtney is a Minnesota native who is a third year in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program. She graduated from North Dakota State University (NDSU) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and minors in Therapeutic Horsemanship and Equine Science. At NDSU, Courtney became interested in research involving older adults, sleep, and human-animal interactions. After graduating, Courtney was employed in social services with a hospice agency in addition to her role as a mental health practitioner at a crisis stabilization unit. Courtney is currently developing a measure to assess pet owners’ engagement in pet-related activities while conducting other research on the clinical implications of human-animal interactions. In her free time, Courtney enjoys practicing yoga, photography, and horseback riding both competitively and for leisure.


Rachel-Clair Franklin – Licensed Training and Response Clinician

Studio portrait of Rachel Franklin
(photo by Beth Wynn / © Mississippi State University)

Rachel-Clair received her bachelors degree from Mississippi University for Women in 2005 with a degree in Psychology. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Mississippi State University in 2011. Rachel-Clair has been interested in the connection between mental health and public health and later obtained a master’s degree in Public Health from Mississippi University for Women in 2016. For six years she has worked directly with young adults within college counseling centers and has previous experience working with adolescents both in the home and within inpatient settings.  Her clinical areas of interest include identity development, risk factors that contribute to suicidality, and the impact that sleep wake disorders have on the quality of life.  She works as the training clinician on the Mississippi Garrett Lee Smith suicide prevention grant and is available for gatekeeper and postvention trainings free of charge throughout the state.  Further. Rachel-Clair is available to respond to youth suicides throughout the state to help with postvention services.

Tonya Calmes – Business Coordinator

Tonya Calmes received a B.S. in Business Administration from Rust College and came to our team from the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine.  She serves as a business coordinator for our team and helps with administering and managing the Garrett Lee Smith youth suicide prevention grant.

Lab Alumni

Christopher Drapeau, Ph.D.

Dr. Drapeau completed his post-doctoral fellowship in our lab.  He  is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Education, serving as a faculty member in the graduate M.Ed./Ed.S. School Psychology Program. He completed his doctoral training at Ball State University, where he specialized in school psychology, clinical neuropsychology, and counseling psychology. Christopher completed an APA-accredited doctoral internship in the Psychological Services Department at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, where he also specialized in parent management training (PMT). During his postdoctoral fellowship at Mississippi State University, he specialized in behavioral sleep medicine and provided mid-level supervision to Clinical Psychology doctoral students providing PMT services.

Courtney (Shea) Golding, Ph.D.

Dr. Golding is one of the first four graduates from the Clinical Psychology PhD program at MSU, and is also the first graduate from our laboratory.  She received her master’s degree from MSU, with her thesis focusing on parenting and discipline practices (Dr. Cliff McKinney, chair).  Her dissertation, which was funded by the Military Suicide Research Consortium, focused on the role religiosity plays in coping after the suicide of a loved one (external member: Dr. Julie Cerel).  Dr. Golding practices Behavioral Sleep Medicine at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Katrina (Kat) Speed, Ph.D.

Dr. Speed is a MIRECC post-doctoral fellow at the Canandaigua VA. She graduated from Mississippi University for Women with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Business Management minor. Her dissertation, which was generously funded by the Military Suicide Research Consortium, examined the effectiveness of Imagery Rehearsal Therapy for Nightmares administered in-person to administered via a smartphone app in a sample of active duty military and Veterans (external committee member: Dr. Anne Germain).