Current Students

| Robert Josephs, Ph.D. | Current Students | Former Students | Research Staff | Collaborators | Lab Photos |

julia1Julia Chafkin, B.A.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (co-advised with Dr. David Yeager)
Email: julia.chafkin(at)

Julia is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology with Dr. Bob Josephs in the Clinical Neuroendocrinology Lab, Dr. David Yeager of the Adolescent Development Research Group, and Dr. Caryn Carlson. She is interested in the various hormonal profiles of adolescence and how they compare to the subjective experience of stress and anxiety, and in the influence of oral contraceptives on the endocrine system and the risk for depression, anxiety and postpartum mood disorders.

ciaraCiara McAfee, B.A.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (co-advised with Dr. Michael Telch)
Email: ciara.mcafee(at)

Ciara obtained her BA in Honors Psychology at Goucher College, graduating Suma Cum Laude while completing an Honors Thesis at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH). Prior to choosing a career path in Clinical Psychology, she was studying to become a professional classical violinist. During this time, she observed the high prevalence of performance anxiety that plagued even the top solo and orchestral musicians, leading her to current passion. While in undergrad she also assisted in sleep and performance consultations with athletes, musicians, and executives. After graduating, she worked as a Clinical Assistant on the NeuroBehavioral Unit at the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She then served for two years as a Project Coordinator for several of Dr. Tamar Mendelson’s NIH funded research projects at JHSPH. These projects focused on working with vulnerable populations in inner city Baltimore Maryland to address chronic stress and anxiety and depressive disorders through third generation Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Mindfulness Techniques.

Currently, she intends to explore the effect of the application of intranasal testosterone on performance anxiety in professional musicians and athletes and the role psychopathology may play in its effectiveness. Additionally, she is interested in the possible involvement of mast cell activation and post-concussion syndrome and Alzheimer’s, as well as if testosterone can be used to decrease mast-cell responses.

In her spare time, Ciara enjoys cooking and baking (everything vegan and from scratch), playing the violin, horseback riding, social activism, and relaxing with her two pups.

madelineMadeline Divine, B.S.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student (co-advised with Dr. Frances Champagne)
Email: madeline.divine(at)

Madeline earned a B.S. in Psychology with a certificate in Multicultural Studies from Mizzou in 2017, beginning her research career in Dr. Laura A. King’s Personality Dynamics Lab. She also holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tulsa (2015) and spent years working in the global energy industry before departing to pursue a career in Psychology.

Following graduation Madeline became the Lab Manager for the CLEAR Lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago and spent three years under Dr. Tory Eisenlohr-Moul’s invaluable mentorship developing and maintaining complex clinical trials protocols for NIMH-funded studies. Madeline joined the UT-Austin Clinical Psychology PhD program in 2020. As a graduate student in the Clinical Neuroendocrinology Lab, she collaborates with Dr. Bob Josephs and Dr. Frances Champagne to study clinical neuroendocrinology and the environment. Madeline’s research interests include, but are not limited to: identifying acute and chronic risk factors for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, cyclical exacerbation of psychopathological symptoms, and neuroendocrinological mechanisms implicated in psychopathology, especially suicidality.

When she’s not in the lab, you can find Madeline in the garden or on the dance floor. If no luck there, she’s gone camping.

feliciaFelicia Lu, B.A.
Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student

Felicia received her BA in Psychology with High Honors at the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. While in undergrad, she completed an Honors Thesis under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Josephs, where she explored how cortisol, testosterone and DHEA-S could predict depression in adolescents. Although she has some background in hormone research, her interests have expanded to also include the effects of perceived social support and the consequences of parasocial relationships on both stress buffering and mental health in general. She hopes to explore the possible clinical applications of parasocial support as a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology.

When she’s not working, you can find Felicia drawing, wandering around art galleries, exploring new cuisines, or playing video games with friends.