David DeMatteo, JD, PhD

Dr. DeMatteo is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Law, and Director of the JD/PhD Program in Law and Psychology. His research interests include psychopathy, forensic mental health assessment, drug policy, and offender diversion. Dr. DeMatteo’s research has been funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and American Psychology-Law Society. He teaches several graduate and undergraduate courses in the Department of Psychology, and several law courses at the School of Law.

Dr. DeMatteo received a BA (high honors) in psychology from Rutgers University, an MA and PhD in Clinical Psychology from MCP Hahnemann University, and a JD (magna cum laude) from Villanova Law School. At Villanova Law School, he was Executive Editor of Villanova Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. He has co-authored several books and dozens of articles and book chapters on forensic psychology, psychopathy, diversion, and related areas. He is an Associate Editor ofLaw and Human Behavior, on the Editorial Boards of several journals, and a reviewer for numerous scientific journals. Dr. DeMatteo was Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Committee on Legal Issues (2011), and he is currently Council Representative to APA for the American Psychology-Law Society (Div. 41 of APA). He is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, and he is board certified in forensic psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology.He 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, JD, MS

Megan is a 6th-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)


Jaymes Fairfax-Columbo

Jaymes is a 3rd-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. Away from school, Jaymes likes socializing, eating his way through the Greater Philadelphia Area, music, sports, long walks on the beach, and making corny jokes. Upon graduation, Jaymes would like to become a professional wrestler, but realizes that age 31 is pretty late to start training and that the daily physical abuse may take a major toll on his moneymaker (his face, not his brain, but that's important too). Oh yeah, and the seven extra years of school would probably be a waste, too.

Vita (PDF)


Alice Thornewill

Alice is a 2nd-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 Law School, Alice serves on the boards of both the American Constitution Society and the Criminal Law Society. In her free time, Alice enjoys reading novels, singing, theatre, doing crossword puzzles, watching good TV, playing Settlers of Catan, and spending time with her friends and family.

Vita (PDF)

PhD Students


Julie Present Koller, MS

Julie is a 6th-year student in the PhD Program. Her research interests include substance use disorders, psychotherapy treatment, psychopathy, and emotion regulation. She enjoys traveling, taking long walks, swimming, reading, practicing yoga, and spending time with friends, her two dogs, and family.

Vita (PDF)


Heidi Strohmaier, MS

Heidi is a 5th-year PhD student currently on internship at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa, FL. After majoring in psychology and political science at the University of Wisconsin, Heidi worked on an inpatient psychiatric unit in Minneapolis, MN. While at Drexel, Heidi has researched and published on various psycho-legal topics including psychopathy, criminal offending, and diversion. Her dissertation and thesis explore attentional mechanisms underlying psychopathy and the influence of demographic variables on juror perceptions of psychopathic defendants. Heidi's clinical interests include conducting forensic mental health assessments and delivering brief interventions to patients in health care settings. Outside of school, Heidi is passionate about her border collie-retriever mix, paddleboarding, yoga, baking, and cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers.

Vita (PDF)


Casey LaDuke, MS

Casey is a 4th-year student in the PhD Program, with concentrations in forensic psychology and clinical neuropsychology. He is co-mentored by David DeMatteo, JD, PhD, ABPP, and Kirk Heilbrun, PhD, ABPP. Casey completed his BA in psychology at the University of Rochester (2009), and his MS in psychology at Drexel University (2011). His current interests include forensic mental health assessment (particularly violence risk assessment), the application of clinical neuropsychology in the forensic context, and the diversion of individuals with serious mental illness from the justice system. His thesis focused on the forensic training and practice of clinical neuropsychologists (doi:10.1037/a0028161), and his dissertation is focused on incorporating neuropsychological assessment within 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 Rehabilitation at Good Shepard Penn Partners. He is currently a Research Associate at the Pennsylvania Mental Health & Justice Center of Excellence, and will be serving as Chair of the Student Committee of the American Psychology-Law Society (APA Div. 41) in 2014-2015. When he is not working, Casey is probably traveling or continuing his mission to eat at every restaurant in Philadelphia. Feel free to contact him at

Vita (PDF)


Sarah Filone, MA

Sarah is a 3rd-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. 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, and conducting immigration assessments (e.g. political asylum, U visa applications, cancellation of removal) with a private practitioner in the Philadelphia area. In her free time, Sarah enjoys reading and practicing yoga.

Vita (PDF)


Shelby Arnold

Shelby is a 1st-year student in the 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 diversion program in Queens, NY. Her current research interests include community alternatives to incarceration and forensic mental health assessment. In her free time, Shelby enjoys movies, theatre, crosswords, dancing, and cooking in her ridiculously tiny kitchen.

Vita (PDF)

MS Students


Unnati Patel

Unnati is a 2nd-year student in the MS Program. She received her BS in Psychology from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2013. At Stockton, she served as a research assistant in the EEG lab studying hemispheric differences in the brain. Her research interests include community psychopathy, the assessment and treatment of sex offenders, and juvenile delinquency. While at Drexel, she has 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.

Vita (PDF)

Undergraduate Students


Elizabeth Parambath

Elizabeth entering her 3rd year as an undergraduate student at Drexel University. She is a psychology major with a minor in Spanish and is currently part of the BS/JD Program. In the future, she hopes to further her studies in psychology and attend law school. Her interests outside of her studies include traveling, running, and drawing. In addition, on campus she is currently serving as Activities Director of a newly founded women's empowerment club, I Am That Girl. In the past, she severed as President of Drexel Jhalak, an all-girl fusion dance team.

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.

Sara Banco

Sara received her BA in psychology, with a minor in pre-law, from California State University, Monterey Bay in May 2013. Her research interests include recidivism reduction, diversionary courts, and psychopathy. She is currently attending law school at the University of California-Irvine School of Law. Outside of academics, Sara enjoys fantasy novels, board games, spending time with friends (including her two dogs), and dancing.

Ashley Batastini, MS

Ashley graduated from Drexel's MS program in June 2010. She is completing her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Texas Tech University, and is currently a predoctoral intern at Western State Hospital in Tacoma, WA.

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. Although he continues to collaborate on some projects, 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.

Jennie Davis, MS

Jennie received her MS in psychology in 2013, and she is currently a 2nd-year law student at Boston College Law School.

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 she is currently completing a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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, and she is currently completing her PhD in Clinical Psychology at the University of South Florida.

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.

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.

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.