Chris King, JD, PhD
Dr. King is an assistant professor of psychology at Montclair State University, where he teaches and conducts research primarily related to adult and juvenile clinical-forensic psychology, correctional psychology, public safety psychology, and mental health law.
He received his JD and PhD in clinical psychology with a forensic concentration from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although a non-resident active lawyer in Pennsylvania, Dr. King does not currently practice law. Instead, he utilizes his legal training for conducting legal research relevant to the intersection of applied psychology and law.
Besides research, Dr. King also teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in forensic mental health assessment, forensic and correctional treatment, and law and psychology. In addition, he currently engages in clinical work as a three-year supervised permit holder in the areas of therapeutic assessment, cognitive behavior therapy for adolescents and adults with complex psychological problems, and public safety psychological screening.
Dr. King's lab is staffed by his PhD mentees, master's students in clinical psychology, and undergraduate students.
The RA team as of summer 2018 consists of
Jill Del Pozzo (PhD student)
Jill is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology with a forensic concentration at MSU. Her research interests include severe and persistent mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia and first episode psychosis), risk factors for psychosis, juvenile, and adult violence risk assessment/management, psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, and conduct disorder. Her clinical interests include consultation, forensic assessment and evaluation, expert testimony, serious mental illness, and competency to stand trial. Prior to MSU, Jill was a Research Teaching Specialist for the Division of Schizophrenia Research at Rutgers University Behavioral HealthCare where she worked on several projects including a pilot study assessing developmental, clinical, cognitive, and demographic characteristics of psychiatric patients with a serious mental illness and a recent history of violent behavior and a state-funded study focusing on substance abuse prevention for at-risk youth with conduct disorder in NJ school systems. Jill received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University in 2012 and a B.A. from Seton Hall University in 2010.
Jessica Mattera (MA student)
Kaitlyn Komar (MA student)
Kaitlyn Komar is a Master's student in Clinical Psychology with a Forensic concentration. Kaitlyn's research interests include forensic mental health and trauma as a risk factor for mental health. In the future, she hopes to be a clinician and work with high-risk offenders and severe mental illness.
Tristin Faust (MA student)
My name Angelo Menezes Guterres Aparicio. I am from Timor-Leste, one of the newest countries in South East Asia. I am in my first-year of pursuing my Master's degree in Clinical Forensic Psychology. I am very interested in doing research about criminal behavior involving youth populations. I am hoping to become a forensic psychologist and a researcher in my home country, Timor-Leste.
Dwight Ceballo (former MA student)
Hello, my name is Dwight Ceballo and I am a second-year Master's student enrolled in the Clinical Psychology Program with a concentration in Forensics at Montclair State University. Currently, I am involved with working with justice involved adults of all ages and would like to continue gaining exposure to this population post-graduation. In addition, I would also be continuing to search for future research opportunities in the field. For the future, I would like to complete a PhD. program in clinical psychology.
Alexandria Lopez (former MA student)
Hello, my name is Alexandria Lopez and I am a student at Montclair State University. I am currently finishing up my last year in the Clinical Forensic Psychology Master’s Program and I am mostly interested in juvenile justice. Post-graduation I would like to get a job in the field, while also continuing to gain research experience. In the future, I would like to complete a Psy.D program.
Ryan Brady (MA student)
Ryan Brady is a graduate student in the clinical forensic psychology program at Montclair State University in New Jersey. He also works part-time as a neuropsychological technician in a private practice administering assessments and measures to police and public safety applicants, as well as fitness for duty evaluations for incumbent public safety officers. Mr. Brady’s research interests include justice-involved juveniles and adults, correctional, as well as police psychology.
Bethany Trilone (former BA student)
Bethany is a senior psychology major in her last semester at Montclair State University. She is applying to PhD programs in clinical psychology and hopes to work as a correctional psychologist in the future.
Alma Munoz-Enriquez (BA student)
Paola Peralta (former BA student)
Brianna Doerflein (BA student)
Brianna Doerflein is a junior majoring in Psychology. She plans on attending a Master’s program for Forensic Psychology once she finishes her undergraduate degree. Her research interests include youth involved in the justice system, as well as mental illness in relation to those who are incarcerated.
Interested MSU Students
Research assistants (RAs) receive various assignments within the lab, including the following:
- extracting information from legal databases and the available research literature
- collecting data from participants
- scoring research measures
- entering paper records into electronic data files
- conducting data analyses, if able
- developing conference presentation submissions
- delivering conference presentations
- co-authoring papers with Dr. King
Master's students and undergraduate students who are interested in working as RAs within the lab must be able to devote 10 hours to lab work per week (including on site as needed). This includes attending an approximately hour-long weekly morning lab meeting.
Initial RA appointments are for one semester, but RAs who perform adequately can continue to work in the lab for as long as approved by Dr. King. Availability, dependability, and hard work in the lab is the route to a strong letter of recommendation from Dr. King.
Students who are interested in obtaining admission to a master's or doctoral program relevant to clinical-forensic psychology are encouraged to get as close to two years of research experience in the lab as possible. This is in addition to
- studying long and hard to obtain a high GPA
- studying long and hard to score well on the GRE
- working with Dr. King well ahead of time to determine graduate programs that would make sense to apply to
- working with Dr. King well ahead of time to develop a strong personal statement and CV
- working with Dr. King well ahead of time to develop a personal statement that is tailored to each graduate program to which you are applying
- volunteering in a second lab to obtain a letter of recommendation from an additional faculty member who does research
- volunteering in a relevant human services setting to round out your experience and obtain a letter of recommendation from a human services provider
It's no doubt a lot of work. And the road to become a licensed psychologist (which requires earning a PhD or PsyD degree in clinical, counseling, or school psychology, among other things) who practices forensic psychology (which ideally involves specialty training in or soon after graduate school) is especially long and competitive. But the work is highly interesting, meaningful, and consequential, and it can also be fairly lucrative.
Some of these comments apply as well to related but distinct future careers, with their own graduate school training routes, including correctional psychologist, licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical social worker, certified alcohol and drug counselor, licensed marriage and family therapist, specialty probation or parole officer, and lawyer. I advise students in my lab about these alternative educational and career options, which may be a better fit for some of them.
Note: My lab is likely not a very good fit for students interested in forensic psychiatry, as psychiatry has a very different training route than applied psychology and the other human services. The same may also be true for students primarily interested in child advocacy, criminology, and law enforcement.
Applying to Work in the Lab
Students who are interested in obtaining an RA position are encouraged to apply in the summer prior to the fall term in which they hope to begin work in the lab. Although interested students may also apply ahead of the spring term, there may not be any RA openings in the spring term. Preference is given to master's clinical psychology students and undergraduate psychology students over all other MSU students.
- why you are applying for an RA position in Dr. King's lab, specifically
- any relevant prior experiences you may have
- what your graduate school and career objectives are
- what you hope to get out of the experience
Prospective PhD Applicants
Dr. King typically mentors a new clinical psychology PhD student each year.