graduate Student Alumni
joseph hoft, Ph.D. (2022)
Dr. Joseph Hoft is an Assistant Professor of Criminology at University of Lynchburg. He holds a PhD in Criminology, Law, and Society from University of Florida. His research interests include criminal-psychological risk behavior, plea-bargaining, and pretrial detention. He primarily worked with Dr. Jodi Lane (chair) and secondarily Dr. Levett (co-chair).
KENNA RUDOMINeR, M.A. (2022)
Kenna Rudominor finished her undergrad at UF in 2020 with a B.A. in Criminology and a B.S. in Psychology (Behavior Analysis), during which she was an undergraduate researcher in the lab from 2019 to 2020. Afterwards, she joined the graduate program at UF and remained with the lab from 2020 to 2022, where her research generally focused on eyewitness misidentifications as a contributing factor for wrongful convictions, specifically the impacts of disguise on accuracy. After she received my M.A. in Criminology, Law and Society, she moved to Orlando, FL to join Universal Destinations & Experiences as a Research Analyst on the Consumer Insights team. Her work involves measuring guest satisfaction for park events and premium products—from Halloween Horror Nights to character dining experiences—using quantitative and qualitative methods. Recently, she produced research in support of the grand opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood! In her free time, she enjoys going to theme parks and spending time with her two cats, Mako and Matzah.
amanda Lewis, Ph.D. (2021)
Dr. Amanda Lewis received her PhD from the University of Florida in Criminology, Law, and Society in 2021 with Dr. Levett as chair and Dr. Monika Ardelt as co-chair. Throughout her time as a researcher, she has focused on topics including prevention, rehabilitation, mental, emotional and behavioral outcomes among juveniles and young adults, consequences of prisonization, reentry, psychology and law, and wrongful conviction. She utilizes both quantitative and qualitative methodologies in her research. Her doctoral dissertation was qualitative in nature and consisted of interviews with 35 primary and secondary exonerees. Here, she examined the total impact a wrongful conviction has on exonerees and their closest loved ones.
Dr. Amanda Lewis is a research associate for Georgetown’s Prisons and Justice Initiative and an adjunct lecturer for Georgetown University in Washington D.C.. She works directly with incarcerated individuals in a maximum security prison in Maryland and the DC Jail as a professor and program facilitator for PJIs educational programs. She is actively involved in running the Making and Exoneree program which seeks to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals through reinvestigation and documentary filmmaking. Beyond these roles, she is the project manager for a large scale quantitative research project, The Reckoning Project, which examines and exposes official misconduct by legal actors such as prosecutors, police, and judges. Finally, Dr. Lewis is using her experience and expertise to testify as an expert witness in court hearings discussing topics such as prefrontal cortex development, the age-crime curve, and factors that may lead to wrongful convictions
Yu Dorothy Du, Ph.D. (2021)
Dr. Dorothy Du is a postdoctoral scholar for PA Commission on Sentencing in conjunction with the Criminal Justice Research Center at Penn State University. Dr. Du’s primary research interests surrounding the intersection between brain science and judicial decision making, such as incorporating neuroscience into sentencing guidelines and decisions, enhancing evidence-based practice in juvenile justice, and addressing neuro-ethical concerns regarding judicial sentencing.
Her current projects involve a) how the retail theft’s locality affect their sentencing outcomes and length under the sentencing guideline recommendations, b) whether judges sentence differentially for Possession with Intent to Delivery (i.e., drug) offenders based on their localness in terms of incarceration decisions and sentence length, c) the impact of age on judge’s decision making according to their perceptions of neuroscience explaining brain immaturity, and d) the role Sentence Risk Assessment on judge’s sentencing decisions.
Dr. Du earned her Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of Florida in 2021, where her dissertation explored the main and interactional effects of neuro-evidence on juror’s perceptions and decision-making processes. Dorothy is an Alum of University of Pennsylvania holding a M.S. in Criminology (2015) and Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience Certificate (2016). She also obtained her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology (2014) from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to the current position, Dr. Du worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor (2020-2021) at Guilford College in North Carolina.
Zoe arthurson-mccoll, J.D., ph.d. (2017)
Dr. Zoë Arthurson-McColl got her B.Sc. Honors in Psychology from the University of Calgary, then studied here under the supervision of Dr. Levett where she earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Criminology, Law & Society in 2015 and 2017, respectively. For her dissertation, titled “Human Intelligence Interviewing with the Scharff Technique,” she developed a novel experimental paradigm in which, prior to the interview, the sources participated in a board game-based activity with the objective of developing strategies for winning Monopoly. The paradigm allows for testing the effectiveness of various HUMINT interviewing strategies and is unique because it does not require providing participants with the information that they will be questioned about. Instead, participants are actively involved in developing and learning the information themselves without knowing they will be interviewed, and thus not influenced by any such expectations.
After earning Ph.D., Dr. Arthurson-McColl went to law school at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she earned her J.D. During that time, she was a fellow at the Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States, an intern at the Office of the State Appellate Defender, and an intern at the Chicago-Kent Criminal Defense Litigation Clinic where she received the 2019 Fleischman Family Award for Excellence in the Criminal Defense Clinic. During law school, she had a 711 license to practice law under the supervision of Professor Richard Kling, and she represented defendants in State and Federal Court. As an attorney, Dr. Arthurson-McColl has worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Illinois prosecuting misdemeanor and felony Domestic Violence crimes. She is currently an Associate Attorney at Stange Law Firm in their Bloomington, Illinois office, where she represents clients in various family law matters, including divorce, child custody, and estate planning.
Joshua Behl, Ph.D. (2016)
Dr. Joshua Behl is an Associate Professor of Criminology at Flagler College. Dr. Behl received his Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of Florida in 2016. His research interests are broadly defined as legal decision-making, with projects focusing on jury decision-making, alibis, and witness behavior.
Read more about his work (co-edited with Dr. Megan Kienzle) in the Best Selling book Alibis and Corroborators: Psychological,Criminological, and Legal Perspectives - the film, starring Ryan Gosling as Dr. Josh Behl is set to be released Fall of 2023.
kelsey henderson, Ph.D. (2016)
Dr. Kelsey Henderson is an associate professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Portland State University. Dr. Henderson received her PhD in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of Florida in 2016. Her research focuses on the American courts system, and more specifically on legal decision-making such as plea-bargaining decision-making and judicial decisions.
MEgan kienzle, ph.d. (2014)
adina thompson, ph.d. (2014)
Dr. Adina M. Thompson earned a Ph.D. in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of Florida in 2014. Her doctoral research focused on stigma against the wrongfully convicted and exonerated as they re-enter society. For more than eight years, Dr. Thompson served as Intake Coordinator for Innocence Project of Florida, a non-profit law office in Tallahassee, FL, that works to free innocent people from prison. From 2019-2023, she lobbied the Florida legislature to update a law governing which exonerated Floridians are eligible for monetary compensation for the years they served in prison. The bill, called the "Compensation for Victims of Incarceration Act,"would allow 18 exonerees the chance to apply for money. The Florida Legislature is expected to vote on the bill during the 2023 lawmaking session.
In her free time, Dr. Thompson likes to practice yoga and volunteer with a local hospice. She lives in Sarasota, Florida, with her partner, Christoph, and their one-eyed tabby, Nala.
Dr. Thompson is pictured here testifying in front of the Florida House of Representatives Committee on compensation for wrongfully convicted individuals in Florida.