Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation
College of Arts & Sciences

Brett Ankawi


Graduate Student


Year of Entry

Fall 2013


Clinical Health


Dr. Christopher France

Research Interests

Brett is primarily interested in how different psychosocial factors influence how individuals cope with and experience pain, both acutely and chronically. His research is currently focusing on the construct of pain resilience. In addition to pain research, Brett is also working with his advisor and lab mates on identifying methods to increase blood donor retention after their initial blood donation.

Curriculum Vitae

Brett Ankawi
200 Porter Hall, Athens, OH 45701


Wayne State University Detroit, MI, Bachelor of Science Psychology, August 2008-December 2011
Ohio University Athens, OH, Master of Science in Clinical Psychology Current Ph.D. Candidate, Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology focus, August 2012-present

Research Experience

Research Assistant
Dr. Mark Lumley
Stress and Health Lab, September 2010-August 2012
Stress, Coping, and Chronic Pain

  • Recruit participants in local pain clinics and over the phone
  • Record physiological data using an electromyograph and blood pressure machine
  • Interview participants, sometimes on sensitive topics
  • Enter data into SPSS and transcribe five minute videos

Substance Abuse and Pain Study

  • Writing Senior Honor’s Thesis using data from this experiment
  • Entered large amounts of data using SPSS
  • Recruited participants in a local pain clinic

Narrative Exposure Therapy to Treat Traumatic Stress in Arab Refugees

  • Organized mailings while the director was at her internship
  • Entered Arabic-language measures into SPSS

Research Assistant
Dr. April Carcone
Pediatric Prevention Research Center, May 2011-December 2011
Patient-Provider Communication Study

  • Coded videos for dyadic interactions an emotions
  • Used the Detroit Medical Center’s online appointment book to find qualified potential participants
  • Recruited participants over the phone

Graduate Assistant
Dr. Christopher France
Clinical Psychophysiology Lab, August 2012-present
Implementation intentions and needle fear

  • Developed a study based on existing literature
  • Wrote the initial IRB form and subsequent amendments
  • Recorded physiological data using blood pressure and skin conductance monitoring equipment
  • Trained undergraduate assistants to run the study
  • Created and managed multiple data sets
  • Analyzed completed data set

Pain resilience

  • Co-investigator
  • Helped develop protocols to reduce risk of bruising in participants
  • Used heat and pressure stimuli to investigate pain threshold and tolerance
  • Analyzed completed data set

Clinical Experience

ExpertCare, March 2010-March 2012

  • Teach a 15 year old with non-verbal autism many life skills, such as cooking, cleaning, and shopping
  • Take the patient to his art and music therapies
  • Emphasize use of touch screen speech device and short, verbal communication (“Home,” “No,” etc)

Clinical Trainee
Ohio University Psychology and Social Work Clinic, August 2013-present

  • Worked with supervisors with different clinical orientations
  • Received group and individual supervision
  • Worked with clients in multiple diversity categories
  • Completed general assessment of presenting concerns, personality, and executive functioning

Student Trainee
Chillicothe VA Pain Clinic, July 2014-December 2014

  • Conducted both group and individual treatment for veterans with diverse health problems in addition to chronic pain
  •  Was trained in cognitive behavioral therapy for chronic pain
  •  Observed biofeedback sessions for individuals with chronic pain

 Student Trainee
Ohio University Counseling and Psychological Services, August 2015-May 2016

  • Worked with a diverse range of clients
  • Conducted brief intake interviews (<45 minutes) as well as ongoing therapy
  • Worked with supervisors with varying clinical orientations

Memberships and Awards

HealthPro Start,  Pre-Pharmacy Honors Program, September 2008-May 2010
WSU Scholars Award, $2,000 annual scholarship, September 2008-Present
Robert Oswald Cork Endowed Scholarship, $600 Runner-Up Award, April 2010


France, C. R., France, J. L., Carlson, B. W., Kessler, D. A., Rebosa, M., Shaz, B. H., ... & Ankawi, B. (2016). A brief motivational interview with action and coping planning components enhances motivational autonomy among volunteer blood donors. Transfusion.

Slepian, P. M., Ankawi, B., Himawan, L. K., & France, C. R. (2015). Development and Initial Validation of the Pain Resilience Scale. The Journal of Pain, 17(4), 462-472.

Posters and Presentations

Ankawi, B., Slepian, P.M., & France, C.R. (May 2015). The Relationship Between Pain Resilience and Heat Pain Tolerance. American Pain Society, Palm Springs, CA.

Ankawi, B. “Working with Clients with Disabilities and Invisible Illnesses.” Counseling and Psychological Services. Ohio University. Athens, OH, April 13, 2015.

Ankawi, B., Radice, H., France, A.A., Kowalsky, J.M., Trost, Z., & France, C.R. (October 2014). Reducing Negative Affective Reactions Using Coping Statement. American Association of Blood Banks, Philadelphia, PA.

Ankawi, B. “Working with Clients with Invisible Illnesses.” Counseling and Psychological Services Brown Bag. Ohio University. Athens, OH, February 28, 2014.
Kowalsky, J.M., France, C.R., France, J.L., Berlan, B., Ankawi, B., Beynon, A. & Ritz, T. (2013, March). Can an arm illusion paradigm serve as a laboratory-analogue for blood donation? Society of Behavioral Medicine, San Francisco, CA.

Jasinski, M., Valentino, D., Ankawi, B., Schuster, E., Johnson, B., Kinner, E., Burns, J., & Lumley, M.A. (April 2012). Emotional Regulation Correlates of Pain Catastrophizing in Chronic Low Back Pain. Society for Behavioral Medicine, New Orleans, LA.


Christopher France, PhD Distinguished Professor
Psychology Department Ohio University
251 Porter Hall
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: (740) 593-1079

Chantel Weisenmuller, PhD Clinic Director
Psychology and Social Work Clinic Ohio University
004 Porter Hall
Athens, OH 45701
Phone: (740) 597-1251

Mark Lumley, PhD
Professor and Director of Clinical Training Psychology Department
Wayne State University
5057 Woodward Ave, 7th floor Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-2838

Departmental Social Media

College of Arts & Sciences