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Clinical PhD Program

Casey LaDuke

Casey is a 5th-year student in the Clinical PhD Program, with concentrations in forensic psychology and clinical neuropsychology. He is co-mentored by Dr. Heilbrun and David DeMatteo, JD, PhD, ABPP. Casey completed his BA in psychology at the University of Rochester (2009), and his MS in psychology at Drexel University (2011). His interests include forensic mental health assessment (particularly violence risk assessment), the diversion of individuals with serious mental illness from the justice system, and the application of clinical neuropsychology and neuroscience in the forensic context. His thesis focused on the forensic training and practice of clinical neuropsychologists (doi:10.1037/a0028161), and his dissertation focused on the ability of neuropsychological assessment to inform violence risk assessment in an incarcerated sample. While at Drexel he has worked in the Drexel University Forensic Clinic, the Albert M. "Bo" Robinson Assessment & Treatment Center, the Delaware Psychiatric Center, a private practice specializing in neuropsychological assessment, and the Penn Institute for Rehabilitative Medicine. He also served as a Research Associate at the Pennsylvania Mental Health & Justice Center of Excellence, and is the Past Chair of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41) Student Committee. Casey is currently completing his internship in the Adult Neuropsychology track at the NYU Langone Medical Center/Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. Feel free to contact him at

Sarah Phillips

Sarah is from Middleton, WI and is a third-year student in the clinical doctoral program. She graduated with honors from St. Olaf College with a BA in psychology and a concentration in neuroscience. Her first exposure to forensic psychology occurred while volunteering at a secure state hospital in Madison, WI. Currently, her research interests include offenders' perceptions of stigma and public perceptions of offenders. Sarah is involved in multiple projects within the lab. These include an empirical examination of the impact of ethical standards within the fields of law and psychology, and a recent book chapter that reviews the literature on risk-reducing interventions for justice-involved individuals. Sarah enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, dancing, and exploring Philadelphia.


Rebecca Newsham

Rebecca is a second-year student in the clinical Ph.D. program. She is from Alexandria, VA and earned her B.A. with highest distinction in psychology and sociology from the University of Virginia. Before beginning graduate school, Rebecca worked as a research assistant/programmer at Mathematica Policy Research, a social policy research organization. Her current research interests include perceptions of offender maturity in the juvenile justice system and community-based interventions for offenders. Rebecca is also involved in the Reentry Project, a program that aims to reduce risk factors for individuals returning to the community after incarceration. Rebecca enjoys strength training, watching sports of all kinds, and dining out in Philadelphia’s many restaurants.


JD/PhD Program

Christopher King

Chris is a seventh-year student in the JD-PhD Program in Law & Psychology, currently on internship. He hails from Florida and graduated with a BS in Psychology from the University of Florida. Chris subsequently earned his MS and JD from Drexel University. His research interests include forensic mental health assessment, risk assessment and reduction, and law and public policy as they pertain to different types of offenders. Chris's clinical interests are varied, although in general, he finds working with people with highly problematic behaviors or symptoms to be the most rewarding. In his free time, Chris enjoys motorcycling and spending time with his wife, Sarah, and two cats, Black One and Gray One.

Email: Vita [PDF]

Benjamin R. Locklair

Benjamin is a fifth-year student in the J.D./Ph.D. program. He is from North Carolina, where he received his B.S. in Psychology and his M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Western Carolina University. Before graduate school, Benjamin worked in non-profit community mental health and developmental disability services. His primary research interests are in the mathematical and statistical properties of forensic assessments, communication of risk assessment results, the practice of diversion for mentally ill and veteran criminal defendants, and the use of new technologies in psychological research. He is currently in practicum at a private forensic mental health assessment clinic. In his spare time, he is a runner, musician, and general-purpose nerd.


Alice Thornewill

Alice is a 3rd-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 project 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.


Victoria Pietruszka

Victoria is a second-year JD/PhD student from New Hartford, New York and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2013 with a BA in Psychology. During this time, she was a research assistant for the Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization at the University of Rochester Medical Center Department of Psychiatry and completed an honors thesis investigating college adjustment and domestic violence. Her research interests include risk assessment, diversion and alternatives to incarceration, reentry, and public policy. Currently, Victoria is involved with the reentry court project and is working on a project investigating state variability among HIPAA regulations in the context of diversion efforts. In her free time, Victoria enjoys exploring the great outdoors, reading, trying new foods, and video games.

MS Program

Jenika Hardeman

Jenika is a 2nd-year student in the Masters Program. She is from Dallas, Texas, but made the move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Washington, DC where she had been attending Howard University since August of 2010. She graduated from Howard in May of 2014 with a BA in Administration of Justice and a BS in Psychology. She has participated in various research projects and programs, namely the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program and the University of California at Irvine Historically Black Colleges and Universities Pathways Program, covering topics ranging from social psychology to developmental psychopathology. Jenika continued on to graduate studies by joining the Masters program and Dr. Heilbrun's lab at Drexel University in efforts to better hone her skill set and focus on her forensic clinical interests. These interests include what the field has termed trauma/adversity; resilience after micro-traumatic experiences, aggression, psychopathology, and violence; how these things affect individuals who become involved with the justice system; and how this contributes to their committing crime throughout their lifespan. She is also interested in developing treatment and interventions that take the aforementioned aspects into account for purposes of rehabilitation. Most recently, Jenika has been awarded the APA Services for Transition Age Youth Fellowship by the Minority Fellowship Program.


Seniz Warner

Seniz is completing her final quarter here at Drexel and will be graduating in December 2015. She will be receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in both Psychology and Criminal Justice. Seniz hopes to pursue her Graduate Degree (Ph.D) in Clinical Psychology/Forensic Psychology. Her research interests include forensic mental health assessment, treatments, and criminal recidivism amongst juveniles and military veterans. Seniz was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado but as an Army Brat, she has moved multiple times to various places such as Germany, New York and throughout Pennsylvania. In her free time, Seniz enjoys fighting fires as a volunteer firefighter, playing the flute, reading, singing, and traveling.

Jessie Barbera

Jessie is from Vienna, VA and is a fourth-year undergraduate student. She expects to graduate in 2016 with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice. She plans to attend graduate school in a JD/PhD program. Her research interests include forensic mental health assessment, reentry programming, and prison reform. In her free time, Jessie enjoys cooking exotic foods, reading novels and comic books, playing Sudoku, watching television, and video games.

Na Young Kim

Na Young is a recent Drexel graduate with a degree in Psychology and a Minor in Criminal Justice who joined the lab in 2012. She spent her undergraduate years doing research in forensics, eating disorders, and obesity psychology. Her primary interests include forensic mental health assessments, recidivism and reduction, and treatment for high-risk behavior of juveniles in communities and correctional facilities. She would also like to study brain injuries and neuropsychological disorders. She has been involved in several projects in this lab and completed her independent study under Dr. Heilbrun’s mentorship her junior year. She intends on pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology and integrating her interests by utilizing neuropsychology applied in the forensic setting. In her free time, Na Young rides her bike, travels to NYC and Washington D.C, and looks for new restaurants to try.