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Lab Personnel

Clinical PhD Program

Casey LaDuke

Casey LaDuke

Casey is a 4th-year student in the Clinical PhD Program, with concentrations in forensic psychology and clinical neuropsychology. He is co-mentored by Kirk Heilbrun, PhD, ABPP, 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 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 Rehabilitative Medicine. 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 casey.laduke@drexel.edu.

Sarah Phillips 

Sarah Phillips

Sarah is from Middleton, WI and is a second-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 examination of the impact of ethical standards within the fields of law and psychology and an assessment of the feasibility of using technology to collect data in secure settings. Sarah enjoys reading, crossword puzzles, dancing, and exploring Philadelphia.

Rebecca Newsham 

Rebecca Newsham

Rebecca is a first-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 forensic mental health assessment and community-based interventions for juvenile offenders. Rebecca enjoys strength training, watching sports of all kinds, dining out, and exploring Philadelphia.

JD/PhD Program

Christopher King 

Christopher King

Chris is a sixth-year student in the JD-PhD Program in Law & Psychology. 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 fiancé, Sarah, and two cats, Black One and Gray One.

Email: chris.king@drexel.edu Vita (PDF)

Benjamin Locklair 

Benjamin R. Locklair

Benjamin is a fourth-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.

E-mail: brl36@drexel.edu

Alice Thornewill

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.

Pietruszka 

Victoria Pietruszka

Victoria is a 1st-year JD/PhD student. She is 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. After graduation, Victoria continued to work in Rochester on a court-based project investigating the use of a risk assessment funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Her research interests include risk assessment, forensic mental health assessment, prison reform and public policy. In her free time, Victoria enjoys exploring the great outdoors, reading, trying new foods and video games.

MS Program

Jenika Hardeman 

Jenika Hardeman

Jenika is a 1st-year student in the Masters Program with a forensic clinical concentration. 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. During the time she spent in undergrad, she 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. Immediately after graduating, 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 both empirically and practically in addition to focusing 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. In her free time, Jenika enjoys reading novels, exploring new things, meeting and getting to know new people, watching crime and drama television shows, and hanging out with her friends and family.

Undergraduates

Seniz Warner 

Seniz Warner

Seniz is a fourth year undergraduate student. She majors in both Psychology and Criminal Justice and has plans to attend graduate school for a PhD in Psychology. Her research interests include forensic mental health, treatments, and criminal recidivism amongst juveniles and military veterans. Seniz was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado but as an Army Brat, she has moved numerous times to places like Germany, New York and throughout Pennsylvania. In her free time, Seniz enjoys fighting fires as a volunteer firefighter, playing the flute, singing, and traveling.

Jessie Barbera 

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 Kim

Na Young is a fourth-year Psychology undergraduate student with a minor in Criminal Justice. She is a research assistant for Dr. Heilbrun and Dr. Lowe in the fields of forensic psychology and eating disorders/obesity psychology respectively. She plans pursuing research after graduation and applying to graduate school for a PhD in Clinical Psychology. Her primary forensic psychology research interests include forensic mental health assessment and treatment and consultation for at high-risk behavior in communities and correctional facilities. She spent her six-month co-op in New York City as a research and project development intern at National Eating Disorders Association. In her free time, Na Young travels between NYC and Philadelphia, discovers new music, and finds new art galleries to experience in both cities.