UNDERgraduate Student Alumni
Allison Henderson, B.A.
Allie Henderson graduated with a double major in Criminology and English from the University of Florida in 2022. She stayed at UF to finish her Master of Arts in Criminology, writing a thesis on how race affects appellate court decision-making in wrongful conviction cases. After graduating with her MA in summer 2023, she will head to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown University Law Center. Allie hopes to pursue a public interest legal career focused on civil rights litigation.
lillian Phillips, B.A.
Lillian Phillips graduated from UF in 2022 after completing an honors thesis in the lab examining prosecutorial misconduct through the lens of focal concerns theory. She took a gap year after graduation after the first cycle of PhD applications, and currently works at a non-profit as a case manager. During her gap year, she re-applied and will be joining John Jay’s Psychology and Law Doctoral Program in the fall!
Nicole Guillen, B.A., M.A.
After Nicole graduated from the University of Florida, she went on to achieve a Masters in News & Documentary Journalism from NYU. While at NYU, she created a documentary film titled “Interrogated” which is about false confessions and the history of police interrogations in the United States. Her goal is to have the film shown to as many people as possible with the hopes of creating awareness and tangible change within the criminal justice system. In her free time, you can find Nicole photographing concerts, freelancing in media, and creating content around New York City.
ALEXANDRA GóMEZ, B.A.
Originally from Miami, Alexandra Gómez graduated from the University of Florida in 2021 with highest honors as a Dual Bachelor of Arts in English and Criminology with a minor in Sociology. After two years working with the LEAD Lab, Alexandra wrote her thesis, “The Use and Misuse of the Death Penalty as a Bargaining Chip in Plea Agreements,” which was later published in the 2022 American Psychology and Law Conference. While at UF, Alexandra was affiliated with Phi Beta Kappa, the Phi Alpha Delta National Mock Trial Team, PODEMOS Latinx Mentorship, and more.
Alexandra is now pursuing her Juris Doctorate at Duke University School of Law and will graduate in 2024. At Duke Law, Alexandra served as President of the Latin American Law Students Association and currently serves as the Membership Editor on the Duke Law Journal. Alexandra is an active member of Duke Law’s Innocence Project Active Investigations Team and wrote her Journal Note entitled “It Won’t Cost Much, Just Your Voice: An Analysis of Current Protections and Future Regulation for Prisoner Voice Prints”.
Shani Rapapport, J.D.
Shani Rapapport graduated from UF’s Levin College of Law in May 2022 and started her legal career at Polsinelli in Miami shortly thereafter, where she practices commercial real estate finance. She is also involved in the Jewish Federation of Broward County Horizons leadership program. Fun fact— both Shani and her older sister Danielle were lab assistants to Dr. Levett.
Jill Driest, Ph.D.
Dr. Jill Driest graduated with a double major in Criminology and Psychology from the University of Florida in 2007. Following graduation, she attended Nova Southeastern University and received her PhD. Currently, she is a licensed psychologist in the state of Florida and an owner of a private practice in Saint Augustine, Florida. Her practice focuses on providing testing and therapy services for children of all ages.
Caroline Geist-Benitez, J.D.
MARIA ide, M.S.
Mariah Ide graduated with a double major in Criminology and Psychology from the University of Florida in 2015, she then went on to Stetson University and graduated with her Master of Science in Counseling. Mariah is now a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida. Mariah works as a therapist at an all-inclusive health nonprofit organization focused on helping the LGBTQIA+ population in Central Florida. Mariah hopes to create a safe environment where her clients can grow to reach their full potential. Go Gators!
Caitlin MANZI, M.A.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2015, Caitlin went on to pursue a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Florida State University (completely online and 100% she still considers herself a Gator)! She has since been working as a field investigator conducting background investigations on government contractors and military personnel prospects.
Danielle Rapapport, J.D.
After graduating from UF Law in May of 2018, Danielle began practicing at a law firm in South Florida called GrayRobinson. She is a member of the firm’s Nationwide Alcohol Beverage & Food Law Department. Her practice concentrates on advising companies and entrepreneurs in heavily regulated industries, including alcohol beverage, food, cannabis, and tobacco, with regard to compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations that govern the manufacturing, importation, distribution, marketing, sale and consumption of these heavily regulated products. She also handles licensing, compliance, regulatory and business issues for companies and individuals from all three tiers of the alcohol beverage industry.
Maria Ardnt, Ph.D.
Maria Arndt is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Law, Police Science, and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She attended the University of Florida for her undergraduate degrees, where she majored in Criminology & Law and International Studies. She received her doctorate in International Crime and Justice from Florida International University, where she was a research assistant on a MacArthur Foundation project assessing prosecutors’ offices data collection capacity by providing technical assistance. Her research interests include prosecutorial decision making and the organizational features of prosecutors’ offices that influence discretion. She has conducted research examining racial and ethnic disparities related to arrests, diversion decisions, and charging outcomes. Her work has been published in Race and Justice, Criminal Justice Review, and Criminology and Public Policy.
HALey Moss, J.D.
Since her time in the lab, Haley went to law school at the University of Miami, and can say her time working at the intersection of psychology and law really helped, especially when we did trial skills workshops, since she felt like I understood more about how people make decisions and different biases. She graduated UM law in May 2018, took and passed the Florida Bar Exam, and is a practicing attorney at Zumpano Patricios in Coral Gables, Florida. Outside of the law, Haley is still writing about autism and thinking about another book, and she is also still drawing and speaking.
dainius simpkins, J.D.
After three years working in the lab, Dain completed his honors thesis on the solicitation of whistleblowing behavior in situations of institutional misconduct. Dain graduated with highest honors and degrees in psychology and criminology, after which he continued his tenure at the University of Florida in attending the Levin College of Law. An award-winning member of the Florida Moot Court team - on which he served as Chair for Education and Training, competed in three moot court competitions ranging in subject matter from Fourth Amendment search and seizure protections to issues of international law, and coached two other competition teams - Dain worked for the law firms of Eisenmenger, Blaue & Peters and Avera & Smith during law school. Upon passing the Florida Bar Exam, Dain will begin working as an Assistant State Attorney for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, serving the people of Orlando.
taylor kidd, ph.d.
After graduation, Taylor pursued a PhD in Criminology, Law and Society at the University of California, Irvine. For her master's degree—obtained from UCI—she addressed implicit and explicit perceptions of prosecutors and defense attorneys as (un)trustworthy. In 2022, she completed her PhD, and her dissertation addressed youth experiences in a teen court diversion program. Currently, she works as a consultant in the justice practice at RDA Consulting.
jennifer blasco, J.D.
Since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Law from the University of Florida in 2014, Jennifer went on to attend Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, Tennessee. She graduated from law school in May of 2017 and became licensed to practice law in the state of Georgia later that year. She is currently working as Portfolio Counsel at Jamestown L.P., a real estate investment company headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Jamestown’s iconic properties include Ponce City Market in Atlanta, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, and One Times Square in New York City. In addition, she served as the President of the Georgia Hispanic Bar Association from 2021 through 2022.
Cassandra Bailey, Ph.D.
Dr. Cassandra Bailey is an Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychological Sciences at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her current research interests are broadly in the areas of immigration, Latinx mental health disparities, diversity issues, and forensics, with a particular focus on the impact of immigration regulations and proceedings on the mental health of Latinx immigrants. In addition to being a professor, Dr. Bailey is a licensed Clinical/Forensic Psychologist. She has previously worked in a variety of settings, including a federal women’s prison, rural probation office, community clinic, orphanage, acute inpatient hospital, state-operated forensic inpatient hospital, and at refugee resettlement shelters. Dr. Bailey is bilingual in English and Spanish and has obtained certification to work in Spanish without an interpreter in medical/mental health settings.
JEAN CABELL, Ph.D.
Dr. Jean Cabell graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a B.A. in Criminology and a B.S. in Psychology. She was an undergraduate research assistant in the lab from 2015-2017. She then earned her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2022. Her research interests were broadly related to the intersect between psychology, law, and technology. For example, she examined police investigator decision-making, blame attributions in autonomous vehicle accidents, and differences in judicial decision-making between in-person and remote hearings.
Jean now works as a User Experience Researcher at State Farm. She loves applying her psychology research training to technology problems in her work. She also loves how her work involves studying human decision-making under uncertainty, as she examines how people make insurance decisions based on risk tolerance.