OUR

TEAM

Get Involved

Interested in working with us? Fill out the lab application (click here) and submit one letter of recommendation, sent by the letter writer directly to Drs. Zottoli & Daftary-Kapur (Zottoli.msulab@gmail.com). The number of students accepted each term will vary according to  lab needs. 

Prospective PhD students should apply to the MSU Clinical Psychology  doctoral program, listing Dr. Zottoli  and/or Dr. Daftary-Kapur as your desired mentor. 

DIRECTOR

Tina Zottoli, Ph.D

Dr. Zottoli is a NYS licensed clinical psychologist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Montclair State University, where she also serves as the director of the MA programs in Clinical Psychology. She teaches Forensic Psychology in the Undergraduate program and Psychometrics, Criminal Forensic Assessment and Psychological Science and the Law at the graduate level. Dr. Zottoli's scholarly interests lie primarily in adolescent decision making and legal competencies, and her research program is presently focused on plea deal decision making and wrongful conviction by guilty plea. In her clinical practice, Dr. Zottoli provides consultation, forensic evaluation, and expert testimony across a range of criminal and civil domains.

 

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MSU Faculty Profile   

Clinical Practice

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CO-DIRECTOR

Tarika Daftary-Kapur, Ph.D

Dr. Daftary-Kapur is an Associate Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University. She teaches Juvenile Delinquency and Juvenile Justice, and courses on Plea Bargaining at the undergraduate level. Her interests lie primarily in adolescent decision making and legal competencies presently focused on plea deal decision making and innocence in plea bargaining. Dr. Daftary-Kapur’s secondary focus is on prosecutorial decision making. She has worked and consulted with jurisdictions around the country on their juvenile and criminal justice policies. 

 

Abbreviated CV

MSU Faculty Profile

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DOCTORAL STUDENTS

Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer Bartlett is a fiifth year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, forensic emphasis. Jenn’s research interests are in guilty plea decision making, and she is especially interested in circumstances that might contribute to innocent defendants pleading guilty. Her MA thesis examined how conviction probability affects the minimum plea discount defendants are willing to accept and her dissertation will explore how trauma history affects plea decisions of innocent individuals.  Jenn’s clinical interests are in forensic mental health assessment and Cognitive Behavioral therapies for justice involved individuals. Her career goals include private forensic practice.

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Whitney Dartnell

Whitney Dartnell is a fifth year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, child and adolescent emphasis, who completed her MA thesis in our lab. Whitney’s clinical interests are in neuropsychological assessment and trauma. Her thesis examined the relationship between neural correlates of feedback processing and performance on executive function tasks in adolescent and adult males.

Conor Hogan

Conor Hogan is a fifth year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, forensic emphasis. His research interests are varied and include the effects of implicit bias on legal decision making, legal competencies and the assessment and treatment of child sex-abuse offenders and victims. His master’s thesis examined grooming -like behaviors in child-on-child sexual abuse cases and his dissertation will focus on the guilty plea experiences of adults charged with sex offenses.

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Ryan Schneider

Ryan Schneider is a fourth year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, forensic emphasis. His research interests center on legal decision making, contributors to wrongful conviction and the etiology of criminal behavior. His master’s thesis examined the influences of potential trial sentence and plea discount on  guilty plea decisions of mock guilty and innocent defendants. Ryan's clinical interests include forensic mental health assessment and treatment of individuals with criminal offending histories. 

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Lauren Grove

Lauren Grove is a fourth year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, forensic emphasis. Her research interests are in juvenile justice, false confessions, juvenile transfer and waiver, and mental health in justice involved populations and her clinical interests are in forensic mental health assessment, expert testimony, and treatment for justice-involved youth. Lauren is conducting  a nation-wide survey on guilty plea practices  in cases involving juvenile defendants.

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Tristin Faust

Tristin Faust is a third year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, forensic emphasis. Tristin’s research interests are in adolescent and adult legal decision making, juvenile legal competencies, and false confessions. Her master's thesis explores how innocent and guilty mock defendants use evidence to estimate likelihood of conviction at trial. Tristin’s clinical interests are in forensic mental health assessment and treatment for justice-involved individuals.  

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Aliya Birnbaum

Aliya Birnbaum is a first year PhD student in the Clinical Psychology program, forensic emphasis. Aliya’s research interests are in adolescent legal decision making, juvenile justice policy reform, parental involvement in youth legal decision making, and race in the legal system. Her master's thesis examined the impact of attorney race on parental acquiescence to attorney plea bargain recommendations in a juvenile justice setting. Aliya’s clinical interests are in forensic mental health assessment and treatment for justice-involved youth.

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Miguel Murillo | MA student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

Julia Stratton | MA student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

Jamie Buren | MA Student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

Twisile Kalinga | MA Student; Clinical psychology

Drew Melancon | Senior Psychology Major, Montclair State University

Brandon Shintani | Sophomore, Ridgewood High School

Zoe Ferguson | Junior, Columbia High School

Olivia Kramer | Junior, Columbia High School

Kimberly Echevarria | MA student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

Latisha Robinson | MA student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

Kathryn Derby | MA student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

Nicole Smith | MA student; Clinical psychology, forensic specialization

LAB ALUMNI

Yaritza Diaz, BA/MA '17 | Victoria Gehring, BA '18 | Rossol Gharib, BA '19 | Christina Lagomarsino, MA '19 | Sohil Malik, Edison High School | Kimberly Perez, (Ramapo College) BA '18 | Daniel Salazar, BA '18 | Elizabeth Tahan, MA '18 | Sarah Hitchcock, MA '21 | Ashlyn O'Halloran, BA '20 | Rosemary Ventura, BA '19  | Ayna Virk, (Purdue University) BA '20  | Alexandra Arnold, MA '20  | Emma Jehan, MA '21  | Abby White, MA '21 | Amanda Palardy, MA '21 | Sarah Hitchcock, MA '21 | Amy Albin, MA '22 | Allison Echeverria, (Loyola) BA '20