Graduate Students

Kayla Burd is a graduate student in Law, Psychology, and Human Development. Kayla is interested in how psychology can inform policy change within the justice system. She investigates decision-making within juries and individuals, how extra-legal factors influence decisions and investigations, and interventions aimed at reducing biases in such settings. She anticipates finishing her PhD in 2018 and applying for academic positions as well as policy positions.

Isabella Esposito is a May 2017 graduate of Cornell University with a B.A. in Biological Sciences. She is currently working on her Master's degree in Developmental Psychology, concentrating in Law, Psychology, and Human Development. She is interested in how suggestibility and coercion can affect testimonial competence by the creation of false memories in children and adults. She hopes to one day attend law school and work as a criminal attorney. Outside of school, Isabella raises a guide dog in training for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

Rebecca Helm - a past PhD/JD graduate student in Law, Psychology and Human Development. She was interested in the rationality and consistency of legal judgment and decision making, and false memory in witness testimony. She is now an assistant professor of Law at the University of Exeter.

Amelia Hritz is a dual JD/PhD student in Law, Psychology, and Human Development. She received her JD in Spring 2017 and is interested in suggestibility, the creation of false memories, and the application of these concepts to false accusations and confessions. She is currently running studies at the Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY that examine how minimal suggestions can create false memories in children and adults and children’s willingness to lie to please adults. In 2019 she will assume a federal clerkship.

Karen Smeda is a JD/PhD student in Law, Psychology and Human Development. She is interested in child and adolescent legal competence and false memories.

Caisa Royer is a dual JD/PhD student in Law, Psychology and Human Development. She received her JD in Spring 2017. She is interested in how decisions are made in legal contexts, including the influence of suggestion, false memories, and legal experience. She is currently studying whether some human faces are more likely to be wrongly identified from lineups than others, and whether they can be identified years before they are arrested.

Vivian Rotenstein is a graduate student concentrating in Law, Psychology, and Human Development. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in topics including children's attitudes about justice and the function of punishment, factors influencing jury decision making, the reliability of children's witness testimony, and perceptions of criminality. Currently, she is studying developmental and cultural factors in children’s deception.

Undergraduate Students

Jackie Katzman is a senior at Cornell majoring in Government and Psychology and minoring in Law and Society. She is interested in the interplay between psychology and law, and most specifically, how this relates to juries. She wants to see if a person's childhood history and attachments can affect how punitive they become in a legal setting. Outside of the classroom, Jackie loves to run around Ithaca's beautiful trail system and is Cornell's Varsity Cross Country Captain for the 2017 season.

Chance Masloff is a junior government major with minors in Psychology, Law and Society, and Crime, Prisons, Education, and Justice. Outside of academics, she is a member of the Cornell Track and Field and Cross Country teams, and is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Upon graduating, Chance hopes to attend law school.

Suzy Park is a senior Economics and Psychology major interested in studying how personal factors such as culture and background affect people's decision-making. Outside of school, she likes to watch (and cry over) The Fault in Our Stars repeatedly, feast on Korean food, and relieve stress via coloring books.

Jady Wei is a junior majoring in Economics and Government, and minoring in Law & Society. She is passionate about the intersection of law and psychological development, and is particularly interested in how group interactions may impact an individual's memory and subsequently affect testimonial competence. Outside of school, Jady loves to swim, run outdoors, play the piano and, from time to time, pick up new surfing tricks.

Maddie Feldman is a junior majoring in Human Development, and working with Caisa Jady, and others on criminal faces.

Recent Graduates

Angela Berlingeri, a December 2015 graduate of Human Development, is currently working as a Research Technician at the National Center for PTSD within the VA Boston. Her research involves examining how light therapy can improve cognition in Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) as well as reduce symptoms of PTSD. She also helps with another study that uses light therapy to alleviate symptoms associated with Gulf War Illness. Additionally, her lab is working on a pattern sequencing project to better understand how PTSD symptoms manifest within different populations. She is interested in research involving trauma, inequalities, bias, and at-risk youth. In the future, she plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology or social work.

James Dunlea graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Human Development with Honors. James' senior thesis examined how one's education shapes his/her critical thinking and decision-making abilities; specifically, this work focused on examining cognitive differences in legal and medical professionals. James completed a Masters degree in Law at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, IL. Currently, he working on a doctorate in psychology at Columbia University.

Grace Monks is completing her J.D. and M.S. in Forensic Science from Syracuse University with hopes of pursuing a career in public defense. "I am hoping to use my background in Human Development and eyewitness memory to provide the best defense possible to indigent criminal defendants."

Ignatius Nam graduated in May 2016 and is currently a law school student at NYU Law.

Logan Kenney graduated in May 2015 and is currently in law school.

Ana Padilla received her B.A. in 2017 and is applying to graduate programs. She was a lab member for two years, working with Caisa, Kayla, and others on various projects.

Lona Sharpstene graduated in May 2017 with Honors in Human Development after completing her senior thesis, entitled "The Effect of Minimal Group Membership on Children's Susceptibility to Suggestive Questioning". She is currently a law student at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.

Jonathan Lash received both his B.A . (2016) and M.A. degrees (2017) in Human Development and is in medical school at Baylor University.