Meet the Psychology, Law & Justice Lab Team

Dr. Caroline Erentzen, LL.B., Ph.D.
Principal Investigator

I am an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. My research interests focus on the intersection of psychology and law and the way that social identities influence propensity for violence and victimization. Prior to pursing an academic career path in psychology, I obtained a law degree and practiced as a lawyer at the Ontario bar from 2007 to 2019. More specifically, I am interested in the following areas of research: 

Graduate Students

Sarah Martin, BA (Hons)
Graduate Student

Sarah is working on her Master’s degree at Toronto  Metropolitan University under the supervision of Dr. Erentzen. Her research interests include the psychosocial consequences of false accusations of child sexual abuse, stigma toward those accused of child sexual abuse, wrongful convictions, and the effect of emotional demeanour on the perceived credibility of innocence claims. Prior to attending TMU, Sarah completed her Honours BA in Psychology at York University, with her thesis focused on the role of ‘ideal victim’  stereotypes on perceptions of sexual assault. Personal interests include the history of psychology, the history of crime, Indigenous culture, and the study of religion.

Joey Vong, BA (Hons).
Graduate Student 

Joey is a Master’s student in the Psychology Department at Toronto Metropolitan University, working under the supervision of Dr. Erentzen. Their research interests include queer, racialized identities and how these identities may be subjected to gatekeeping by other members of those groups. Joey completed an Honours BA at TMU and has received a CGS-M scholarship to support their studies.

Thesis students

Bianca Cusimano

Bianca is a fourth-year undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is completing her Honours thesis in the Psychology, Law, and Justice lab. She is interested in social psychology, specifically focusing on online stranger sexual harassment. Her thesis aims to observe how victims’ reactions to online harassment may affect how people interpret the appropriateness and harm of that harassment. Bianca hopes to gain more experience in research and pursue a career that allows for her to share the knowledge she has learned with others. She hopes to teach psychology one day at a university level.

Nabeeha Mahmoud

Nabeeha is a fourth year student in the Psychology Department at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is pursuing her honours thesis with the Psychology, Law and Justice lab. Her thesis examines potential religious biases toward Muslim defendants in Canadian juries within criminal trials, jury screening procedures, and ways to mitigate the effects of jury bias. She is interested in social psychology, specifically the intersection of psychology and law, and hopes to become a social psychologist. She enjoys reading, listening to Taylor Swift, and watching sitcoms in her spare time.

Megan Zambri

Megan is a fourth-year student undergraduate student majoring in psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She hopes one day to be a counsellor to children and families and to teach them healthy coping mechanisms. Currently, she is working on her thesis with the PLJ lab with a focus on moral psychology as it relates to the transgendered community. She is also interested in psychology and law, forensic psychology, and developmental psychological principles. She loves learning new things every day and is excited to see what the future has in store.

independent Project students

Tatiana Kilislian

Tatiana is a fourth year student in the Department of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. Her research interests include solitary confinement and the adverse effects it has on the mental and physical well-being of prisoners. She is  volunteering in the PLJ lab on a project exploring false accusations of child sexual abuse and it’s relation to wrongful convictions.  She hopes to pursue graduate school in the field of Clinical Psychology.

Juliana Cocuzzo

Juliana is a fourth-year student in the Department of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. Some of her research interests include wrongful convictions, unreliable witnesses, and the perceived credibility of the Not Criminally Responsible plea. She is completing an independent research project in the PLJ lab to study incentivized witnesses and their relation to wrongful convictions. She is currently exploring careers in both psychology and law.

Research Assistants

Ayse Makarnaci

Ayse is a fourth year student in the Department of Psychology at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is a research assistant with the Psychology, Law, and Justice lab, assisting on projects pertaining to stranger sexual harassment, ambivalent sexism, and system justification beliefs. She is also completing an honours thesis in another research lab, exploring the literature surrounding incels and online misogyny.

Ashley Maharaj

Ashley is a fourth-year honours student in the Psychology Department at Toronto Metropolitan University. She is currently a research assistant in the PLJ lab, working on a large project exploring  exonerations from false accusations of child sexual abuse. She is also completing her honours thesis in the ASPIRE lab at TMU. Her main research interests include the social-cognitive development of children. In her psychology and law class, she was most interested in learning about the accuracy of eyewitnesses and children’s testimony. She is the Executive Vice-President of the Psychology Students Association (PSA) and a BIPOC mentor in the Tri-Mentoring program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, watching Modern Family, and biking.

Geovana da Silva Kasprowicz

Geovana is a 4th-year undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology. She is an international student from Brazil and her research interests include social psychology, gender, sexual behaviour, personality, and relationships. Her current thesis project is about body image, gender norms, and sexual satisfaction in bisexual women. She is assisting the PLJ lab with research exploring identity-based stranger sexual harassment.