Stephen J. Ross, Ph.D. (University of Texas at El Paso)

Lab Director
Email: sjross2@u.washington.edu
Download: curriculum vitae

Dr. Ross earned a Ph.D. in Psychology with a legal concentration from the University of Texas at El Paso in May 2008.  From 2008-2010 he served as a Visiting Assistant Professor within the Department of Psychology at Florida International University.  He joined the IAS faculty at the University of Washington, Tacoma in September 2010 and established the CASCR at that time.  His research interests are related to examining the social and cognitive processes related to decision-making in criminal cases, primarily related to eyewitness identification.  Recently, his research has focused on evaluating how individuals process facial similarity and how the similarity structure of lineups influence mockwitness and eyewitness decisions.  In his free time he enjoys attending sporting events (hockey, football, and baseball primarily), scuba diving, and going to punk/ska concerts.

Ashley Blanford

Undergraduate Research Assistant


Ashley is a senior at the University of Washington, Tacoma, working towards a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. She previously received her Associate in Arts and an Associate in General Studies at South Mountain Community College. Her goal is to work as an investigator with a strong interest in interrogations and investigative interviewing, deception detection, jury decision making, and eyewitness memory.


Steven Johnstone
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Steven joined the lab in spring of 2014. He is a Psychology major that transferred to the University of Washington, Tacoma with an AA in the fall of 2012. After graduation, he plans to continue on to graduate school, where he plans to focus on school counseling. When not busy with school or work, he enjoys reading every book he can get his hands on, as well as learning new crafts to increase his knowledge base.

Aeron Lloyd

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Aeron joined the lab in Spring 2014. She is a psychology and history double major with a minor in education, and plans to continue in the psychology and education fields in graduate school. When not at school or work, she likes to read, sketch, watch movies, play guitar, and spend time with friends and family.


Kristine Maniulit

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kristine joined the Center for Applied Social Cognition Research (CASCR) in 2014.  She is a psychology major expected to graduate in the top 10% of her class in the summer of 2014.  After graduation, she plans to earn a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, with a focus on trauma.  After gaining experience in the field, she plans on returning to graduate school to earn a PsyD in Clinical Psychology.  When not working on academics, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and her soon-to-be husband.  She also enjoys traveling, watching movies, reading, parks and beaches, running, and playing video games.  She is also a zombie and superhero fanatic.

Amber Monson

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amber joined the lab in the Spring 2014 quarter. She is a junior, double-majoring in criminal justice and psychology.


Hannah Morrison
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Hannah is a senior at the University of Washington Tacoma. She is a double major (Criminal Justice and Psychology), and will receive her Bachelor's Degree in Summer 2014.  She is currently a Research Assistant for the CASCR, and has gained much insight from the research opportunities here.  Her interests range from adolescent psychology to offenders with mental illnesses. She plans to go on to get her Master's Degree in either Psychology or Social Work.  After receiving her Master's Degree, Hannah wants to pursue her Ph.D. Hannah loves people, and has committed her life to helping those in need. When not in school Hannah is either at work, at the gym, or spending time with family and friends. She has a love for nature, and would love to someday swim with a great white shark.

Zachary Ruiz-Bednarski

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zach is a senior psychology major that joined the lab prior to the Spring 2014 quarter. After graduating in June 2014, he will be attending Pacific Lutheran University to pursue a MS in Nursing.


Kym Schmitz

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Kym joined the lab in the Spring 2014 quarter. She is currently a senior Psychology major and will be graduating at the end of the 2013-2014 academic year.

Shannon Spencer

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Shannon is receiving her B.A. in Psychology (with a minor in Criminal Justice) in June 2014. She is expecting Magna Cum Laude Honors. She is currently the project coordinator for the CASCR. She has been accepted, and will be attending Fairleigh Dickinson University in the fall.  She is pursuing a Masters of Arts in Forensic Psychology. Upon conclusion of her M.A., she will be continuing her education with a Ph.D. in Forensic Psychology. Shannon would like to teach at the university level, and research possible correlational factors of psychopathy, Anti Social Personality Disorder, and homicide.  She is an Air Force veteran, and flew as a Loadmaster on C-17 cargo aircraft for nearly 7 years. She volunteered with an international troop support charity for over 8 years, until the program closed due to the Recession. When not involved with school activities, Shannon owns a small handmade craft business, loves animals, and loves to watch crime dramas, and sci-fi shows. 


Arnold Sze
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Arnold joined the lab as a research assistant in the Spring quarter of 2014. He is a Junior Psychology major with a minor in both Business Administration and Applied Computing. Starting 2014 Fall quarter he will act as the President of the UWT Psychology Club. He plans to graduate in 2015 and after graduation he plans to attend graduate school. Afterwards, he hopes to pursue a career in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.  Outside of the lab and academics his interests include: running, drawing, breakdancing, cooking, hanging with friends, watching movies, volunteering, and participating in anything that involves friendly competition.


Affiliated Researchers:

Jenna Kieckhaefer (Ph.D., Florida International University) is currently a research fellow within the Behavioral Analysis Unit at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. As of September 2014, she will be an Assistant Professor of Criminology at California State University, Fresno. Her research interests are generally focused on evaluating the social influences on memory and decision-making in eyewitness contexts, with much of her recent work looking at the role of rapport development on eyewitness reports and identification decisions.

Roy Malpass (Ph.D., Syracuse University) is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Texas at El Paso. He also founded and directed the Eyewitness Identification Research Laboratory at UTEP. He has published extensively in the areas of face recognition, eyewitness identification, and cross-cultural psychology and is considered one of the foremost experts on eyewitness identifications in the world. His laboratory website provides a plethora of information regarding eyewitness memory and identification procedures and useful tools for evaluating the fairness of lineups (http://eyewitness.utep.edu).

Colin Tredoux (Ph.D., University of Cape Town) is a Professor in Psychology at the University of Cape Town (South Africa). His research interests are generally related to facial processing. He is currently working on research developing a software system for enhancing eyewitness composite production (know as ID), evaluating the role of facial similarity in identification parades, and perceptual learning related to the cross race effect (among other projects). More information about his research is available on his website (http://www.uct.ac.za/depts/psychology/plato).

Lab Alumni:

Sarah Buchanan (B.A. - University of Washington, Tacoma) graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in June 2012. While attending UWT, she volunteered at New Beginnings Battered Women shelter in Seattle, where she helped women and children heal from abusive relationships. She currently resides in Oxford, England.

Brian Cahill (M.A. - University of Colorado, Colorado Springs) is currently a graduate student in the Legal Psychology, Ph.D. program at Florida International University.

Lina Davis (B.A., University of Washington, Tacoma) graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in June 2013.

Petruska Fernandez (B.A., Florida International University) is currently a graduate student in the Human Resource Management M.S. program at Florida International University.  She earned B.A degrees in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Florida International University in May 2011.

Jeanette Miller (B.A., University of Washington, Tacoma) is currently a graduate student in the Masters of Social Work program at the University of Washington, Tacoma. She earned a B.A. in Psychology from UWT in June 2013.

Kelly Mooney (B.A., University of Washington, Tacoma) graduated with B.A. degrees in Psychology and Ethnic, Gender, & Labor Studies in June 2013.

Matt Schreiner (B.A., University of Washington, Tacoma) is currently a graduate student in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology M.A. program at Seattle Pacific University.  He earned a B.A. in Psychology from UWT in December 2010.

Sonia Sidhu (B.A., University of Washington, Tacoma) graduated with a B.A. in Psychology in June 2013.