Doctoral Students

Doctoral Students


Scarlett Baird, M.A.

Fourth Year

Scarlett Baird graduated from Southern Methodist University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2013. After graduating, she worked as a research assistant in the Anxiety & Health Behaviors Lab at the University of Texas at Austin as a Project Coordinator for several funded clinical trials. She is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at UT Austin. Scarlett is interested in identifying reintegration strategies for returning combat veterans as well as determinants of treatment adherence among anxiety-prone populations.


Jolene Jacquart, M.A.

Fourth Year

Jolene Jacquart graduated from the University of Wisconsin – Madison with a B.S. in Psychology and Neurobiology in 2012. After graduating, Jolene worked as a clinical research coordinator at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital for several funded clinical trials examining mind-body practices. Jolene is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at UT-Austin under Dr. Jasper Smits. Jolene’s broad research interests are understanding the mechanisms, dosing, and adherence of alternative treatment and augmentation strategies for anxiety and depressive disorders (e.g., aerobic exercise, yoga).


Santiago Papini, M.A.

Third Year

Santiago received a B.A. in Philosophy from UT Austin, and an M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from CUNY-City College. His prior experience focused on psychotherapy trials for PTSD. Santiago joined Dr. Smits’s lab to expand his training to include other disorders, treatments, and analytic methods. Santiago’s research involves applying two complementary methods examining recovery from anxiety and addiction. To examine potential causal treatment mechanisms, he applies the experimental psychopathology approach to Pavlovian learning and memory processes. To examine how individual differences impact recovery, he applies data-driven approaches including machine learning prediction and network analysis.

Emily website headshot

Emily Carl, M.A.

Second Year

Emily received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.A. in Psychology from Boston University. Between these degrees, she held a position in addiction treatment and later worked for NIMH-funded research studies at the Psychosocial Department of Butler Hospital. She began working toward a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin under Drs. Mark Powers and Jasper Smits in 2016. Her research interests include novel treatments and augmentative strategies for anxiety, depression, and health behaviors, with an emphasis on interventions such as physical activity that are widely accessible and cost-efficient.


Aliza Stein, B.A.

Second Year

Aliza graduated from Boston University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2014. Following graduation, Aliza worked as a research assistant in psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medicine on several NIH funded clinical studies. Aliza is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at UT-Austin under the mentorship of Dr. Jasper Smits. Her research interests include identifying mechanisms of treatment response and developing novel interventions for mood and anxiety disorders.


On Internship

Michelle Davis

Michelle Davis, M.A.

Michelle Davis received her B.S. in Biology from Texas Tech University and completed her Master’s degree in Psychology at Southern Methodist University. She is currently a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Texas at Austin and is working on her dissertation, a randomized controlled trial of hormonal responses to treatment in exposure therapy for social anxiety disorder. Michelle’s broad research interests include investigating the role of attention and other cognitive mechanisms involved in anxiety disorder maintenance and treatment, and novel ways to operationalize and measure therapeutic session success (i.e., extinction learning) in anxiety disorders. Michelle will be graduating with her Ph.D. after she completes her year of internship at Baylor College of Medicine.