Research Assistant Professor, Forensic Science

 

Ph.D., Texas Tech University (Counseling Psychology), 2013

Postdoctoral Study, Texas Tech University – Institute for Forensic Science (focus on forensic assessment), 2014-2015

 

Research Interests:

The EPiC-LEO (Experiences & Perspectives in the Criminal Justice System with a focus on Law Enforcement Organizations) research team studies the mental health and wellness of law enforcement members (e.g., police officers, correctional officers), disenfranchised groups (e.g., minority races and cultures, severely mentally ill) and their treatment within the criminal justice system (including case proceedings and case outcomes), and the management and care for the incarcerated mentally ill (particularly pre-trial incarceration).

 

Classes:

FSCI 4300 – Individual Studies in Forensic Science, FSCI 5101 – Seminar in Forensic Science, FSCI 5353 – Research Methods in Forensic Science, FSCI 5259 – Victimology, FSCI 5260 – Report Writing and Expert Testimony; PSY 4000 - Individual Problems in Psychology, PSY 5002 – Advanced Practicum.

 

 

Bio:

Megan A. Thoen completed her Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Texas Tech University. She was a post-doctoral fellow and mental health manager at the Lubbock County Detention Center for almost a year before beginning at the Institute for Forensic Science as a post-doctoral research assistant focusing on forensic assessment. She is a licensed psychologist and completes court-ordered forensic mental health assessments for the Institute. As the Director of Forensic Mental Health Services, she also manages administrative duties for all forensic mental health services provided by the Institute, and supervises several doctoral practicum students from the Texas Tech University – Department of Psychological Sciences seeking training in forensic mental health assessment. Her research and scholarly activities includes studying the mental health and wellness of law enforcement members (e.g., police officers, correctional officers), disenfranchised groups (e.g., minority races and cultures, severely mentally ill) and their treatment within the criminal justice system (including case proceedings and case outcomes), and the management and care for the incarcerated mentally ill (particularly pre-trial incarceration). She has co-authored several peer reviewed publications and has presented at numerous national and international conferences.

 

Selected Publications:

 

Journal Articles

 

Blanco-Alvarez, T. M., & Thoen, M. A. (2017). Factores Asociados al Estrés Laboral en Policías Penitenciarios Costarricenses. [Related Factors to Work Stress among Costa Rican Correctional Officers.] Revista Costarricense de Psicología [Costa Rican Journal of Psychology], 36(1), 45-59.

 

Morgan, R. D., Mitchell, S. M., Thoen, M. A., Campion, K., Bolaños, A., Sustaíta, M. A., & Henderson, S. (2016). Specialty Courts: Who's In and Are They Working? Psychological Sciences, 13(3), 246-253. doi: 10.1037/ser0000085

 

Shigemoto, Y., Thoen, M. A., Robitschek, C., & Ashton, M. W. (2015). Assessing measurement invariance of the Personal Growth Initiative Scale-II among Hispanic/Latina/os, African Americans, and European Americans. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62, 537-544. doi: 10.1037/cou0000075

 

Thoen, M. A., & Robitschek, C. (2013). Intentional Growth Training: Developing an intervention to increase Personal Growth Initiative. Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 5, 149–170. doi:10.1111/aphw.12001

 

Robitschek, C., Ashton, M. W., Spering, C. C., Geiger, N., Byers, D., Shotts, G. C., & Thoen, M. A. (2012). Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Personal Growth Initiative Scale – II. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 59, 274-287. doi: 10.1037/a0027310

 

 

Book Chapters

 

Thoen, M. A. (In press). Research methods in forensic psychology. In R. D. Morgan (Ed.), The SAGE Encyclopedia of Criminal Psychology. Invited entry.

 

Robitschek, C. & Thoen, M. A. (2015). Personal growth initiative in colleges and universities. In J. D. Wade, L. I. Marks, & R. D. Hetzel (Eds.), Positive Psychology on the College Campus, Oxford University Press: New York, NY. Invited book chapter.

 

 

Relevant Presentations

 

Thoen, M. A., Hernandez, G., & Davis, A. (2019, March). What is Taking So Long: Competency Process of One Southwestern County. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Portland, OR.

 

Evans, K. L., & Thoen, M. A. (2019, February). Determining the Confidence of Fingerprint Examiners at Various Steps in the ACE-V Method. Poster to be presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Scientific Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

 

Thoen, M. A., Dodson, L. E., Piña-Watson, B., Trejos-Castillo, E., McCullough, P., & Escalera, E. (2018, August). Assisting Their Own: Police Utilized Suicide Prevention & Wellness Programs. Poster submitted for presentation at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

 

Thoen, M. A., Escalera, E., Batastini, A. B., & Pike, M. (2018, March). Forensic Evaluations Via Telecommunication: Legal Perspectives of Advantages and Disadvantages. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Memphis, TN.

 

Thoen, M. A., Blanco-Alvarez, T., McCullough, P., Dodson, L. E., & Escalera, E. (2018, March). A Study of New Correctional Officers: Observations of Wellness and Job Satisfaction. Poster to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Memphis, TN.

 

Dodson, L. E., Thoen, M. A., Piña-Watson, B., & Trejos-Castillo, E. (2018, February). Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention Programming among United States Police Agencies. Poster to be presented at the American Academy of Forensic Sciences 70th Annual Scientific Meeting, Seattle, WA.

 

Kemboi, S. K., Prada, P. A., & Thoen, M. A. (2017, September). Hand Odor Volatiles and Drug Abuse: A Pilot Study using a Chemical Dependent Target Group. Poster presented at the 6th International Conference on Forensic Research & Technology, Houston, TX.

 

Thoen, M. A., Young, A. T., Dodson, L. E., Edwards, C., Coffel, B. A., Anderson, B. E., Turner, B. L., McCullough, P. E., & Blanco-Alvarez, T. M. (2017, March). Impact of Changing Shift Schedules on Officer Wellness and Job Satisfaction. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychology-Law Society, Seattle, WA.

 

Thoen, M. A., Galyean, K. D., Van Horn, S. A., Blanco-Alvarez, T. M., Edwards, C., Coffel, B. A., Anderson, B. E., Turner, B. L., & Blair, C. (2016). Impact of cultural, criminogenic, and psycholegal characteristics on indigent defense. Poster presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Denver, CO.

 

Morgan, R., Mitchell, S., Thoen, M., Sustaita, M., Bolanos, A., & Campion, K. (2015, June). Specialty courts: Who's in and are they working?Paper presented at the 2015 North American Correctional and Criminal Justice Psychology Conference, Ottawa, Canada.

 

Morgan, R., Mitchell, S., Thoen, M., Sustaita, M., Bolanos, A., & Campion, K. (2015, March). Specialty courts: Who's in and are they working? In R. Morgan, Chair, Working to improve correctional practice: Assessing risk, community intervention, and understanding desistance. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Psychology-Law Society, San Diego, CA.

 

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