Students | John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Anna Vaynman, 2018

Anna Vaynman from Barnard College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2016. For the past two and a half years she has been working as a paralegal in the Financial Frauds Bureau of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Anna is looking forward to the Psychology and Law PhD Program this coming fall. 

Jacqueline Douglas, 2017

Jacqueline Douglas is a first year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology program at John Jay College, under the mentorship of Dr. Peggilee Wupperman. She received her B.A. in Experimental Psychology from the University of South Carolina and her Master's degree in Clinical Psychological Science from the University of Maryland. Jacqueline’s research interests lie in the development and implementation of mindfulness-based treatments for emotional and behavioral dysregulation. She is particularly interested in examining the role of emotion regulation and mindfulness in the link between mindfulness-based treatments and positive emotional and behavioral outcomes.

Elise Juraschek, 2017 

Elise is a first year at John Jay. She moved from Missoula, Montana where she had attended the University of Montana. She graduated with a second BA in psychology with high honors. She also received a BA in political science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. While at the University of Montana she worked as research assistant in the sexual violence lab that was involved in the University’s Safe Campus Survey, which was designed to gather information on the status of the campus related to sexual assault. As part of this lab, she presented numerous posters and presentations.

Elise also has worked in several clinical settings. She worked in a therapeutic youth home for teenage boys, worked with parents doing supervised visitation, and a wilderness therapy program. She was also involved with the local domestic violence shelter doing support groups, in person crisis counseling and answering the 24 hour crisis line.  

Shane Adams, 2017

Shane earned his B.A. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012 and his M.A. in psychology from San Francisco State University in 2017.  His early research investigated the neurotoxicological and cognitive effects of environmental and occupational manganese exposure on residents and welders, respectively, with the U.S. EPA and Purdue University.  Since 2013, Shane has collaborated with the World Trade Center Health Registry (WTCHR) investigating longitudinal psychological sequelae of trauma in those directly exposed to the events of 9/11 (i.e., police, WTC tower survivors).  Broadly, his research includes the investigation of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), symptomatology, resilience, and mental and physical comorbidities of PTSD.  Shane currently works with Dr. Maureen Allwood studying community violence, trauma, and negative outcomes. 

Anna Stenkamp, 2017

Anna Stenkamp attended the University of Oregon for her undergraduate degree where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Spanish. While at the University of Oregon she conducted research with Dr. Robert Mauro assisting on research projects pertaining to psychology and law. During her junior year she began to focus on procedural justice within the judicial system. She wrote her thesis, Judicial Selection Methods and Their Effects on Perceived Fairness during her senior year. Anna is a member of the Psi Chi Fraternity and the Phi Beta Kappa Society as well. She graduated with honors in 2016 from the University of Oregon.

Anna is currently working with Dr. Mark Fondacaro in his lab. She is also a Research Assistant with the Yale Justice Collaboratory. Anna is excited to continue her education and research experiences at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. 

Therese Todd, 2017

Therese is currently a first year student in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program at John Jay College. Therese graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with latin honors and a B.A. in Psychology.  During her undergraduate career, she became involved in research at Alternatives Addiction Treatment Center and the Center of Policing Equity. Through her clinical and research experiences, along with course work in forensic psychology, she became interested in disparities within the criminal justice system, specifically as they pertain to persons with mental illness. Under the mentorship of Dr. Preeti Chauhan, Therese is pursuing research examining the effect of law enforcement Crisis Intervention Training (CIT) on outcomes such as use of force and dispositions in persons in crisis. Therese is also examining implicit and explicit bias against persons with mental illness in the general public and law enforcement in order to create the foundation for developing and implementing an intervention targeted specifically at reducing implicit bias against persons with mental illness in police officers.


Natalie Gordon

Natalie Gordon, 2016

Natalie holds an MA in Psychology (concentration in Psychology and Law) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Her MA thesis, which was funded by the American Psychology-Law Society, examined the impact of genetic and environmental evidence on mock jurors’ sentencing decisions in a capital trial. In addition to her interest in the impact of genetic evidence on legal decision-makers, she has recently become interested in how different pieces of evidence (e.g., gruesome photographs) can arouse discrete emotions and how those emotions, in turn, differentially affect jurors’ judgments about culpability and punishment. She has also been trained as a restorative justice facilitator and has experience co-facilitating conferences for petty crimes and misdemeanors.

Cody Stitzel

Cody Stitzel, 2016

Cody worked as a graduate assistant where I conducted assessments of selective attention abilities in children, aged 4 to 7 years, at schools located in underprivileged neighborhoods. Her second line of research centers on her on-going thesis work, where she is investigating if empathetic response patterns of individuals with primary and secondary psychopathic traits vary in different contexts, created by different combinations of victim and offender attributes. While studying at John Jay under the supervision of Dr. Widom. Cody was recently awarded (April 2016) the Summer Research Fellowship from the University of Dayton in order to complete my master's thesis, which she presented at the Social Sciences Symposium held at the University of Dayton in November 2015. Additionally, during the 2015-2016 academic year she was awarded a Clinical Trainee Grant and during the 2014-2015 academic year, she was awarded a Graduate Assistantship, both from the University of Dayton. This past June, Cody worked as a teaching assistant for a psychology study abroad program in Florence, Italy. 


Kendra Doychak

Kendra Doychak, 2016


Kendra works under the guidance of Dr. Chitra Raghavan, studying the dynamics of abusive relationships. Broadly, her research interests include gendered violence, coercive control, and responses to trauma. Specifically, her current projects focus on pimp/prostitute and sex-trafficker/trafficking-victim relationship dynamics, with specific attention to control, coercion, and traumatic attachment. Psychological, as well as broader socio-cultural and political, factors inform all research development, design, and interpretation. Kendra graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Psychology from Ithaca College in 2013. In 2015, she obtained her Master's degree with distinction in Forensic Mental Health Counseling from John Jay College, where she also received the Robert S. Morrow prize for academic excellence


Stephanie Cardenas

Stephanie Cardenas, 2016

Stephanie is a first year Ph.D. student working with Deryn Strange and Saul Kassin. She received her B.A. in Psychology and German from Williams College (2014). Prior to joining John Jay, Stephanie was a Postbaccalaureate IRTA Research Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she researched neurocognitive deficits and the heritability of mood disorder symptoms. Her current research interests include studying plea bargain decision making, the phenomenology of partial innocence, the development of traumatic memory distortions, alibi generation, and, broadly, social justice issues focused around morality and motivations to engage in collective action.

Yizhu Zhou

Yizhu Zhou, 2016

Bachelor of Engineering, 2010, Industrial Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University

MA, 2015, General Psychology, New York University

Yizhu is a certified therapist in Shanghai, China. In order to gain a deeper understanding of how different levels of sociocultural contexts influence individuals’ mental health and psycho-social-emotional wellbeing, Yizhu then came to the New York City to gather more research and clinical experience. Working under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Nadal, Yizhu has research interests in the contextual factors influencing micro-aggression experiences among ethnic minority groups and their coping strategies. Yizhu’s other lines of research interests include the influence of sociocultural changes on parenting practices and their children’s psychosocial well-being. Yizhu’s career objective is to apply her research on the detrimental outcomes of diverse social oppression to promoting social justice.

Patricia Y Sanchez, 2015

Patty is a third year in the Psychology and Law program working with Dr. Maria Hartwig and Dr. Saul Kassin. She obtained her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin where she first got involved in research. Her current research interests include the role of morality in beliefs about criminal justice practices, interrogation techniques, plea-bargaining, and broadly, psychological motivations for beliefs. She has presented her work at local conferences as well as at the annual American Psychology-Law Society conferences.

Nana Amoh, 2015 

Nana Amoh is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She completed her undergraduate career in 2013 at Columbia College, Columbia University where she majored in Psychology and concentrated in English. Nana then earned her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2015. At John Jay, Nana works under the supervision of her advisor, Dr. Maureen Allwood, in the Child Adolescent Stress and Trauma Laboratory. Nana 's research broadly examines the relationship between violence and trauma exposure and negative psychosocial sequelae among diverse children and adolescents. She is also interested in researching prevention methods that focus on enhancing protective factors among diverse youth exposed to community violence and violence within the home. Nana currently serves on the John Jay College Psychology Doctoral Student Council as the Diversity Committee Representative. She is also the Coordinator of the Diverse Leadership in Education and Academic Pursuit (D-LEAP) Mentorship Program at John Jay College.

Amanda Reed

Amanda Reed, 2015

Amanda is a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s clinical psychology doctoral program. Amanda received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Wellesley College and a Master’s degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Amanda currently serves as the Research Coordinator for the Forensic Training Academy, under the direction of Dr. Patricia Zapf. She is the Chair-Elect of the American Psychology-Law Society Student Committee and serves as the Reviewer Coordinator for the Psychology-Law Evidence Database, a joint project between John Jay College and Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include cognitive bias in forensic evaluations and training for professional evaluators.

Lauren O'Connor, 2015

Lauren is a third year clinical psychology PhD student at CUNY Graduate Center, housed at John Jay College. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and Economics from Tufts University in 2012. Prior to entering graduate school, Lauren worked at McLean Hospital in the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program on a clinical trial of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia. Her research focuses on self-stigma and stigma resistance in individuals with severe mental illness. More specifically, Lauren is interested in the experiences of those with a severe mental illness who also face other forms of discrimination and internalized oppression (e.g. people of color and LGBTQ individuals). Lauren received her en route Master’s (2017) with a thesis focusing on dual stigma and self-stigma for LGBTQ individuals living with severe mental illness. Clinically, Lauren is interested in the treatment of first episode psychosis and individuals with trauma and stressor-related disorders.

Alexander Jay, 2015 


Alex is in his 3rd year working under the supervision of Dr. Charles Stone and Dr. Margaret Bull-Kovera. He obtained his Master of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University (ASU), completing his thesis under the supervision of Dr. Jessica Salerno on the topic of collective guilt and juror leniency toward war veteran defendants. Alex holds his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a specialty in research from Wilfrid Laurier University. He has published in journals such as Psychiatry, Psychology, and Law, and has co-authored publications in Group Processes & Intergroup Relations and The Jury Expert, as well as a book chapter on the topic of positive flashbulb memories. Alex received the Merit Scholarship from ASU and has been awarded research funding from the American Psychology-Law Society, the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, and The Graduate Center, CUNY. Alex’s research focuses on social psychological, social cognitive, and mnemonic processes in jury decision making. He is currently working on a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project that investigates potential mnemonic consequences of jury deliberations, such as retrieval induced forgetting, social contagion, and collective forgetting. Alex’s dissertation research examines how attorneys might strategically frame their trial stories to have the greatest possible impact on jurors and juries. 

Amanda Rosinski, 2015

B.S., 2013, Criminal Justice, Utica College of Syracuse University

M.A., 2015, Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Amanda Rosinski is a doctoral student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program hosted at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center. Broadly, Amanda researches the impact of cross-cultural and immigration factors in clinical forensic assessment, under the mentorship of Dr. Rebecca Weiss. Amanda has presented her research at several national and international conferences, including American Psychology-Law Society, American Psychological Association, and International Association of Forensic Mental Health Services. She hopes to translate her research into forensic practices, conducting culturally-sensitive forensic evaluations in order to ensure clients receive appropriate mental health services. Currently, Amanda is a neuropsychology extern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, conducting neuropsychological evaluations with patients who are either undergoing cancer treatment or are cancer survivors. Amanda also serves on the John Jay College Psychology Doctoral Student Council as the Clinical Deputy Co-Chair, and on the American Psychology-Law Society Student Committee as the Clinical Liaison. 

Ahmed Enaitalla

Ahmed Enaitalla, 2015

BA, 2015, Psychology & Sociology, Stony Brook University

Ahmed is currently working with Dr. Cathy Spatz Widom. His research interests are in the area of psychopathy, particularly non-criminal psychopathy, and in the identification of protective factors that may help constrain the antisocial tendencies commonly associated with psychopathic traits. Ahmed is also interested in exploring the use of psychology as an investigative tool in the field of law enforcement, particularly for criminal offenses that involve violence. Ahmed was born and raised in NYC and hails from the borough of Queens. He enjoys playing a variety of sports, including boxing, football, and competitive video gaming. He currently serves in the NYPD as an Auxiliary Police Officer and aspires to become a law enforcement agent after completing his degree.

Melanie Close, 2014

Melanie received her B.S. in psychology from Fordham University in 2011. Prior to coming to John Jay, she worked in research administration at CUNY and Weill Cornell Medical College. Melanie currently conducts research on the influence of racial bias on jury decision-making with Dr. Margaret Kovera. She also works with Dr. Saul Kassin on research exploring perceptions of non-native English speakers and the use of foreign language interpreters during police interrogations. Melanie is also an adjunct professor at John Jay and works as a research intern for the Innocence Project’s Strategic Litigation Department. 

Fabiana Alceste

Fabiana Alceste, 2014

"Fabiana received two Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Florida in 2014 before moving to New York City to pursue her doctorate. Along with her advisor, Saul Kassin, Fabiana uses survey and experimental research methods to examine the psychology of interrogations and false confessions, especially people’s perceptions of police custody; interrogation tactics; contamination in confessions; expert, lay, and adolescent beliefs about interrogations; and linguistic patterns in rehearsed confessions. She has been awarded CUNY travel grants, two doctoral research grants, and an outstanding poster award from the American Psychology-Law Society. She has presented her work at national conferences and has been invited to speak to law students and high schoolers about false confessions. She is also an adjunct at John Jay."

Nicole Graham, 2014

Nicole is a Ph.D. student in the Clinical Psychology doctoral program at John Jay College. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of South Florida, majoring in psychology and criminology. She then earned her Masters of Science degree at California State University, Fullerton in Clinical Psychology. Nicole was recently awarded the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA) Pre-Doctoral Research Grant to fund her dissertation focused on the use of controversial diagnoses in sexually violent predator (SVP) proceedings. Clinically, Nicole is interested in forensic assessment and neuropsychology. Nicole currently serves as the Forensic Specialization/Curriculum Representative on the Doctoral Student Council and is the John Jay Campus Representative for the American Psychology and Law Society. 

Joseph Deluca, 2014

BA/MA, 2014, Forensic Psychology, CUNY John Jay College

Joe is working with Dr. Philip Yanos. He is interested in recovery among individuals living with serious mental illness; public attitudes and stigma toward individuals living with mental illness or individuals part of other marginalized groups; and general mental health awareness and advocacy efforts. Joe has recently partnered with a national mental health non-profit to help develop and test the efficacy of their stigma reduction program for adolescents. Clinically, he is generally interested in working with individuals (especially adolescents and young adults) living with, or at risk of developing psychosis/serious mental illness. He also has an interest in risk/threat assessment. Currently, he is a Student Advisory Board member for APA Division 53's Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology. He has also been actively involved with APA's Division 18, Psychologists in Public Service.

Alexa Hiley

Alexa Hiley, 2014


Alexa is a PhD student in the Experimental Psych & Law program. She graduated in 2012 with a BA in psychology from Bates College, where she did research on how the dynamics of an interview affects the quality of witness's accounts of an event. After college, she spent two years working at the BIDMC Transplant Institute as a clinical RA with the Surgical Outcomes Analysis & Research team. At John Jay, Alexa primarily works with Dr. Steve Penrod, doing research on factors that affect defense attorney decision-making during plea bargaining. She also works with Dr. Margaret Bull Kovera and Dr. Saul Kassin on issues relating to alibi witnesses and forensic confirmation bias, respectively.


Justin Balash

Justin Balash, 2014

Justin is a doctoral student in The Graduate Center’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Justin graduated summa cum laude with his B.A. in Psychology from the University at Buffalo , where he also minored in Philosophy. He received his M.A. in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College, where he received the Robert S. Morrow Prize. He currently works with Dr. Diana Falkenbach, researching “successful” psychopathy in various non-forensic populations. Justin’s research interests include psychopathy, behavioral ethics, and the relationship between personality and morality. 

Tanya Erazo

Tanya Erazo, 2014

Tanya Erazo is a New York City transplant hailing from the Bay Area in California. She graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in law and society. Tanya also received a master's degree in psychology, with an emphasis on mental health and substance abuse counseling, from The New School in New York City. She is a Certified Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor in training (CASAC-T) in New York State. In order to integrate her passions for the legal world and psychology, Tanya decided to pursue a career in clinical psychology while focusing on social justice issues, aggression/violence, and trauma. Tanya works alongside Dr. Kevin Nadal and Dr. Chitra Raghavan studying microaggressions and intimate partner violence. Specifically, Tanya is most interested in how power dynamics, aggression/violence, trauma, and bias affect police and civilian interactions. Her career goals are to (1) establish empirically-based interventions for mitigating potentially-violent and/or discriminatory intergroup situations, (2) explore how interpersonal interactions are escalated by trauma exposure, and (3) consult with correctional facilities, police departments, armed forces and community organizations, both domestically and internationally, regarding safety practices between officers, inmates, soldiers and civilians.

Nicole Trauffer, 2014

Nicole Trauffer is a doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Ph.D. program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She completed her undergraduate career in 2013 at Boston College, where she majored in Psychology and Theatre. Nicole then earned her Master’s degree in Psychology with a developmental concentration at Boston College in 2014. At John Jay, Nicole works with her advisor, Dr. Cathy Spatz Widom, in the Development Across the Lifespan Lab. In her research, Nicole examines factors related to female-perpetrated crime. Clinically, Nicole is interested in the treatment and assessment of individuals from forensic populations as well as the treatment of trauma. Nicole currently serves on the John Jay College’s Psychology Doctoral Student Council as the Social Chair. Nicole also serves as the Co-chair of the Partnerships and Awareness Committee on the junior board for the Women's Prison Association.

Emily Edwards

Emily Edwards, 2013


Emily graduated with a BS in psychology from the University of Central Florida in 2013. She currently works under the advisement of Peggilee Wupperman. Her research broadly explores issues of emotion processing, subjective emotional experience, and behavioral dysregulation. She is particularly interested in how these issues may be applied to improve psychotherapy outcomes for persons with emotion processing and regulation difficulties. Emily was awarded the CUNY Doctoral Student Research Grant in 2015 to develop a mindfulness-based intervention for persons with alexithymia and again in 2017 to pursue research on the effects of emotional schemas on psychoemotional functioning. She has also published numerous journal articles and book chapters related to her research. 


Chassitty N. Fiani

Chassitty N. Fiani, 2013

BA, 2013, Forensic Psychology, CUNY John Jay

MA, 2015, Forensic Psychology, CUNY John Jay

M.Phil., 2017, Psychology, CUNY Graduate Center

Chassitty works under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Nadal. Chassitty's research interests include identity development and mental health among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) and among transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) adults. Chassitty hopes to apply her research toward improving mental health care and criminal justice experiences of people who identify as LGBQ and/or TGNC to decrease disparities in psychological well-being and quality of life. 

Stephanie Stern, 2013

Stephanie Stern is a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at CUNY Graduate Center/John Jay College. She earned her B.S. in Human Development and Family studies from the University of Connecticut in 2007. Prior to entering graduate school, Stephanie worked as an investigative analyst at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She then decided to pursue a career in clinical psychology while focusing on interventions for police. She earned her M.A. in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College in 2013 and works with Dr. Michele Galietta in the doctoral program. Stephanie’s dissertation research integrates mindfulness training and technology to promote police resilience. Her ultimate career goal is to become a police psychologist, work in private practice, and consult with police departments to provide officers with evidence-based interventions, including training and counseling services.

Andrew Evelo

Andrew Evelo, 2012

Andrew received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of the South: Sewanee and Master’s degree from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He studies social cognition and legal decision making with his advisor, Margaret Kovera, and has published research on eyewitness identifications, juror decisions, and perceptions of juvenile offenders. Both the American Psychology-Law Society and Society for Personality and Social Psychology have awarded him presentation funds. In 2011, Evelo received the Lee Becker Award for accomplishment and promise in science.

Karima Modjadidi, 2012

Karima graduated from Moravian College with a B.A. in psychology and received her M.A. from John Jay College.  Under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Kovera and Dr. Steve Penrod, Karima conducts research on jury decision-making, plea-bargaining, and attorney decision-making.  She has presented research at the American Psychology-Law Society, American Psychological Society, and European Association of Psychology and Law conferences.  Karima is also an adjunct professor at John Jay College.  

Rebecca Spizzirri, 2012

Rebecca is a Doctoral Candidate in the Clinical Forensic Psychology PhD program and an Adjunct Lecturer in the master's program, where she teaches courses in the Advanced Certificate in Victimology Studies sequence.  Advised by Dr. Cathy Spatz Widom, Rebecca's dissertation research investigates pathways from childhood victimization to revictimization in adult intimate partner relationships, with a focus on the clinical implications for interventions with survivors of trauma.  Rebecca earned her BS in Psychology with the highest distinction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College.  She is currently completing her pre-doctoral internship at Hutchings Psychiatric Center - New York State Office of Mental Health.