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David DeMatteo

David DeMatteo, JD, PhD, ABPP (Forensic)

David DeMatteo, JD, PhD, ABPP (Forensic), is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Law at Drexel University, and Director of Drexel’s JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology. He received a BA in psychology from Rutgers University, an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from MCP Hahnemann University, and a JD from Villanova Law School.

DeMatteo’s research interests include psychopathic personality, forensic mental health assessment, offender diversion, and drug-involved criminal offenders. His research has been funded by several federal agencies, state agencies, and private foundations, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania Department of Welfare, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, and the American Psychology-Law Society. Professor DeMatteo received the 2013 Pennsylvania Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference Recognition Award in recognition of his research on diversion programs for drug-involved and mentally ill offenders.

Professor DeMatteo has published more than 90 articles and book chapters and 7 books in his areas of interest. He is an Associate Editor for Law and Human Behavior, on the Editorial Boards of more than 10 journals, and a reviewer for more than 30 scientific journals. He has also given more than 150 conference presentations.

In addition to serving two terms as an American Psychological Association (APA) Council Representative for the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Division 41), DeMatteo was Chair of the APA’s Committee on Legal Issues (2011). He is a Fellow of APA, a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Psychology, and board certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology. Professor DeMatteo is currently President of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Division 41).

DeMatteo is a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania, where he conducts forensic mental health assessments of juveniles and adults on a variety of legal issues.

Vita (PDF)

JD/PhD Students

Megan Murphy

Megan Murphy, JD, MS

Megan is an 8th-year student in the JD/PhD program. Her primary research interests include criminal responsibility evaluations; risk assessment; trauma-informed care; and burgeoning areas in forensic psychology, such as forensic animal maltreatment evaluations. Her co-authored publications explore issues such as mandated substance-use treatment, capital sentencing, juvenile justice, and women's issues in forensic psychology. Megan has clinical experience in a range of psychological settings, including, a hospital-based violence intervention program, an inpatient hospital, a forensic hospital, a private forensic assessment clinic, a behavioral medicine clinic, and a community psychology organization. On the legal side, she has done human rights work in Port-au-Prince with Drexel's Haiti Justice Project and participated in a legal co-op at the Montgomery County Public Defender's Office. Before coming to Drexel, Megan served as a volunteer coordinator for AmeriCorps "Schools of Hope," addressing educational inequality through literacy tutoring in elementary schools. In her free time, Megan enjoys trying new restaurants, being outdoors, reading bestselling novels, and watching college athletics.

Vita (PDF)

Emily Haney-Caron

Emily Haney-Caron

Emily is a 6th-year PhD candidate in the Law-Psychology program in clinical psychology. Emily's research focuses on juvenile forensic psychology, forensic assessment, and public policy. Her interests are in criminal justice issues unique to juveniles, including juvenile false confession, zero tolerance policies, and the role of developmental immaturity among justice-involved youth. Additionally, Emily is interested in the relationship among empirical research, forensic practice, and policy. Emily has clinical experience in a range of settings, including psychiatric hospitals, a day treatment program, a forensic assessment clinic, a neuropsychology practice, and a behavioral medicine clinic. Her legal experience includes internships with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Federal Community Defender Office's Capital Habeas Unit, as well as a legal co-op at the Juvenile Law Center. Emily earned a B.A. in Psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary in 2009, an M.S. from Drexel University in Psychology in 2014, and a J.D. from the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law in 2016. In her free time, Emily enjoys singing in a choir, listening to podcasts, and checking out the excellent Philly restaurant scene.

Vita (PDF)

Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo

Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo

Jaymes is a 5th-year student in the JD/PhD Program. He graduated from Swarthmore College in 2010 with an Honors Major in psychology and a Course Major/Honors Minor in political science. After graduation, he worked as a Research Assistant at Philadelphia's Treatment Research Institute (TRI) for 2 years. At TRI, he assisted in projects that sought to more efficiently and effectively train substance abuse counselors to administer evidence-based treatments in group settings. His major interests in clinical-forensic psychology are psychopathy, addiction, recidivism reduction, risk-needs assessment, re-entry planning, integrating research and policy, and diversionary courts; he also has an interest in high-profile offenders. In his spare time, Jaymes likes to use his glib and superficial charm to curry the favor of others, before remorselessly exploiting them for his own gain. He also likes making forensic psychology-related jokes.

Vita (PDF)

Alice Thornewill

Alice Thornewill

Alice is a 4th-year student in the JD/PhD Program. She is from Louisville, Kentucky, and she graduated from Grinnell College in 2011 with a BA in English. During her years at Grinnell, she volunteered with The Grinnell Prison Program and taught a literature course to inmates at the Newton Correctional Facility in Newton, Iowa. After graduating, Alice spent a year in Prague working as a proofreader at Havel, Holasek & Partners, an international law firm. Alice has also volunteered with Shakespeare Behind Bars at the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex in LaGrange, Kentucky. Her research interests include recidivism rates, prison reform, arts and education programs in prisons, and community-based alternatives to incarceration. At Drexel, Alice serves as coordinator for the Reentry Project, a comprehensive group therapy program designed specifically to meet the needs of offenders reentering the population after incarceration. In her free time, Alice enjoys reading novels, singing, theatre, doing crossword puzzles, watching good TV, doing Zumba, playing Settlers of Catan, and spending time with her friends and family.

Vita (PDF)

PhD Students

Shelby Arnold

Shelby Arnold

Shelby is a 3rd-year student in the Clinical PhD Program. She graduated from Wesleyan University in 2012 with a double major in Neuroscience and Psychology. After graduating, she worked for two years at a mental health jail diversion program in Queens, NY. Her current research interests include community alternatives to incarceration, forensic mental health assessment, and evaluating factors that impact legal decision-making. Shelby is currently gaining practicum experience at Drexel's Psychological Services Center, and is a Forensic Associate at the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health in the Specialized Clinical and Criminal Justice Unit. In her free time, Shelby enjoys movies, theatre, crosswords puzzles and making ice cream.

Vita (PDF)

Alisha Desai

Alisha Desai

Alisha is a 1st-year student in the Clinical PhD Program. She received her BSc in Human Development, with a concentration in Law & Psychology, from Cornell University in 2013. As an undergraduate, she volunteered for the Cornell Prison Education Program, teaching creative writing and literature courses to inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility. After graduating, she worked at NYC's Bellevue Hospital on a clinical trial investigating the treatment of opiate dependence. Alisha's current research interests center around the etiology and treatment of substance use disorders, addiction treatment in correctional settings, drug policy, and alternatives to incarceration. In her spare time, Alisha enjoys traveling, photography, reading, and perusing farmers markets.

Vita (PDF)

Sarah Filone

Sarah Filone, MA

Sarah is a 5th-year student in the PhD Program. She received a BA (with Honors) in Psychology from Lafayette College in 2008, and an MA in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in 2010. Following the completion of her Master's Degree, Sarah spent 2 years working at Drexel University as a project coordinator for the Pennsylvania Mental Health and Justice Center of Excellence and the Statewide Forensic Peer Support Program. Her research interests include the psycho-legal aspects of political asylum adjudication and competence for removal (deportation) proceedings; as well as multicultural forensic assessment. While at Drexel, Sarah has obtained practicum experience providing individual and group therapy through Rowan University Counseling and Psychological Services; conducting forensic evaluations at the Drexel Forensic Assessment Clinic; conducting immigration assessments (e.g. political asylum, U visa applications, cancellation of removal) with a private practitioner in the Philadelphia area; and providing outpatient individual treatment for military veterans at the VA clinic in Horsham Pennsylvania. She is currently completing her predoctoral internship at the Durham VA Medical Center. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading and practicing yoga.

Vita (PDF)

Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry

Sarah is a 1st-year student in the Clinical PhD Program, with a concentration in forensic psychology. She received a B.S. with Honors in Psychology and a B.A. in Sociology from the College of William & Mary in 2016 before coming to Drexel. During her time at William & Mary, she co-founded a mentoring program bringing together students from William & Mary and residents at a local juvenile detention center, completed an internship at a residential behavioral health facility in Portsmouth, VA, and assisted in a research lab that worked with pregnant women during and following their incarceration. Sarah's research interests include the reentry process for former inmates, patterns of recidivism, and empirically-based alternatives to incarceration. In her free time, Sarah enjoys baking and eating baked goods, riding her rescue horse, and sitting in positions that infuriate her chiropractor.

Vita (PDF)

MS Students

Claire Moore

Claire Moore

Claire is a 1st-year student in the Master's program. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in psychology and recently completed her Master's in Criminal Justice at the University of Alabama. For the past two years, she volunteered in Dr. Stanley Brodsky's Witness Research lab working on a project involving court reporter's perspectives and emotional experiences in criminal cases. She also volunteered in Dr. Jennifer Cox's lab and assisted on a project involving psychopathy. Her research interests include psychopathy and the intersection of psychology and law. In her spare time, Claire enjoys reading, writing, hiking with her dog, and spending time with friends and family.

Vita (PDF)

Undergraduate Students

Rachel Bomysoad

Rachel is a 4th-year undergraduate student at Drexel. She is a research assistant in the DeMatteo Research Lab and Laboratory for Innovations in Health-Related Behavior Change, with research interests in forensic issues and acceptance-based behavioral interventions. She anticipates graduating in 2018 with a degree in psychology and a minor in psychiatric rehabilitation and plans to pursue a degree in clinical psychology in the future.

Vita (PDF)

Kelan McKibben

Kelan McKibben

Kelan is a 4th-year undergraduate student majoring in psychology, with a minor in criminal justice, at Drexel University. After graduating Drexel, his plan is to apply to a master's program in forensic psychology and hopes to one day attend graduate school. Over the last year, Kelan has volunteered as a research assistant for both the Nezu Stress and Coping Lab at Drexel University and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Kelan also works as a sales associate at Totem Brand Company, because he needs money to throw at his crippling debt. In his spare time, Kelan enjoys longboarding, traveling, and listening to heavy metal.

Vita (PDF)

DeMatteo Lab Alumni

Natalie Anumba, PhD

Natalie received her PhD in clinical psychology in September 2011. Her predoctoral internship was jointly sponsored by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and she is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Ashley Batastini, PhD

Ashley graduated from Drexel's MS program in June 2010. She completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology at Texas Tech University, and she is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Jeff Burl, PhD

Jeff received his PhD in clinical psychology in August 2012 after completing his predoctoral internship at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital and currently works at Bridgewater State Hospital in Massachusetts.

Joshua Camins, MA

Joshua left Drexel in 2014, after 1 year in the lab. He is currently enrolled in the PhD program in Clinical Psychology at Sam Houston State University.

Jennifer Cox, PhD

Jenni graduated from Drexel's MS Program in Psychology in 2009 and went on to complete her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Texas A&M University followed by a predoctoral clinical internship at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington, D.C. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Psychology-Law concentration at the University of Alabama.

Dana Formon

Dana graduated from Drexel with a BS in psychology in 2013, and she is currently in the PhD Program in Clinical Psychology at Sam Houston State University.

Elizabeth Foster, PhD

Lizzy received her PhD in clinical psychology in 2013. She completed her predoctoral internship at UNC-Chapel Hill and a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Widener University.

Samantha Guth

Samantha graduated from Drexel University with a BS in psychology in 2014, and she is currently in the MA in Forensic Psychology Program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Elizabeth Hunt, MS

Betsy graduated from Drexel's MS Program in Psychology in June 2010. After earning her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida, she will be completing a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Michael Keesler, JD, PhD

Michael is a recent graduate of Drexel's JD/PhD Program, working for the next few years as a postdoctoral neuropsychology fellow in downtown Philadelphia. Originally from Asheville, North Carolina, Michael earned his BA in psychology from UCLA while researching jury decision-making. Michael went on to earn his JD from the Villanova School of Law in 2011 and his PhD from Drexel in 2014. During his time as a graduate student, Michael researched psychopathy, death penalty mitigation, neuropsychological assessment, and co-authored a book on forensic mental health assessment in capital litigation. Michael completed his pre-doctoral internship at UNC and a nearby correctional facility, providing therapy and conducting assessments in both neuropsychological and forensic contexts. Michael's academic interests include capital litigation, psychopathy, and forensic neuropsychology. In his free time, Michael enjoys cycling, surfing, home renovation, and photography.

Julie Present Koller, PhD

Julie received her PhD in 2016, and she currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.

Casey LaDuke, PhD

Casey completed his PhD in 2016, and he is currently a Neuropsychology Fellow at the University of Virginia.

Unnati Patel, MS

Unnati graduated from Drexel's MS Program in 2015. She is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include community psychopathy, the assessment and treatment of sex offenders, and juvenile delinquency. While at Drexel, she had the opportunity to study psychopathy from both a legal and neuropsychological perspective. Away from school, Unnati enjoys board games, bike rides, cooking with an abundance of coconut oil, and she patiently awaits the release of The Winds of Winter.

Morgan Scully

After graduating from Villanova University and spending two years in the lab, Morgan recently took a position as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Neuromodulation in Depression and Stress.

Sanjay Shah, JD, PhD

Sanjay graduated from the JD/PhD Program in 2013. He completed his predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Emory School of Medicine/Grady Health System. He is currently employed by Georgia's Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities where he works as a Forensic Psychologist at Georgia Regional Hospital/Atlanta. His research and practice interests include forensic mental health assessment, cognitive functioning of justice-involved individuals, and competency restoration.

Heidi Strohmaier, PhD

Heidi completed her PhD in 2015. She completed her predoctoral internship at the Tampa VA, and she is completing her postdoctoral fellowship at the Hennepin County Medical Center. Heidi's clinical interests include conducting forensic mental health assessments and delivering brief interventions to patients in health care settings.

Julie Vayner

Julie graduated from Drexel's undergraduate program in September 2013 with her B.S. in Psychology. She is attending La Salle University for her PsyD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in forensic psychology.

Jennie Wilusz, MS

Jennie received her MS in psychology in 2013, and she is currently a 3rd-year law student at Boston College Law School.