Robert Morgan, Ph.D.
Robert D. Morgan completed his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Oklahoma State University and a postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Missouri Department of Mental Health. He is currently the John G. Skelton, Jr. Regents Endowed Professor in Psychology and Director of the Institute for Forensic Science at Texas Tech University. Dr. Morgan's research and scholarly activities include treatment and assessment of justice involved persons with mental illness, forensic mental health assessment, and professional development and training issues. His research has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Justice. He has authored or co-authored over 75 articles, chapters and books. He has provided forensic mental health services (e.g., over 900 forensic mental health evaluations) at the request of courts, defense, and prosecution, and consults with state and private correctional agencies to inform practice.
Robert Paine, Ph.D.
Director, Master's of Forensic Science Program
Undergraduate Minor in Forensic Science
Robert R. Paine completed his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. His MA degree comes from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is currently a Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at Texas Tech University. His research and scholarly activities include forensic skeletal histology, as it is used in bone identification and age assessment; paleopathological work among Mediterranean populations from Italy, Turkey and Cyprus, and trauma analysis to bone. His forensic consultant practice includes 20 years in West Texas working with the Lubbock Medical Examiner's office, Texas Rangers from Companies C & E, and local law enforcement offices. His academic appointments have included visiting positions at the Department of Animal & Human Biology, Universita "La Sapienza", Roma, Italia; and the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and abstracts specific to skeletal biology and forensic topics including five articles in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology and Journal of Forensic Sciences. He is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Anthropological Sciences (JASs). He is an avid traveler and in the last six months has visited and worked in Canada, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Greece/Cyprus and Italy. He owns a vineyard in the Abruzzi region of Italy growing Montepulciano grapes.
Kathy Sperry, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice in Forensic Science
Dr. Sperry is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Forensic Science and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Pathology at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from Texas Tech University, in 1993, and her postdoctoral training was in the Department of Psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Science Center. Her research interests include stalking on college campuses, and the analysis of the causes and consequences of wrongful convictions and their impact on policy decisions. Dr. Sperry has considerable correctional experience, working with a variety of offender populations, including sex offenders, severe personality disordered offenders, pedophiles, and severely mental ill offenders. She has also authored a number of journal articles and book chapter and has directed numerous federally-funded projects for law enforcement training and forensic science education. She is an Associate member of the American Academy of Forensic Science and is a Certified Forensic Consultant.
Megan A. Thoen, Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Director of Forensic Mental Health Services
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 associate. 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 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), the mental health and wellness of law enforcement members (e.g., police officers, correctional officers), 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.
Paola A. Prada, Ph.D
Research Assistant Professor
Dr. Paola A. Prada received her Ph.D. in Chemistry with a forensic science concentration from Florida International University in 2010. She was awarded the 2010 Intelligence Community (IC) Postdoctoral Research Fellowship funded by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Her postdoctoral studies have united interdisciplinary areas such as chemistry, animal behavior and national security to address issues critical to effective intelligence and defense capabilities. She has worked extensively on developing instrumental methods for human odor identification for criminal investigations. She has also worked with canine scent detection in the context of optimizing odor collection techniques for scent training purposes. Her research interests include the evaluation of human odor volatiles as a forensic discriminatory tool as well as the testing of target odor analytes from various specimens of forensic importance for optimal performance of biological detector systems (i.e. canines). She has worked with both national and international police/government agencies to help develop better instrumental and training techniques in various areas of odor detection. She is the author or co-author of numerous journal publications, book chapters, and one book dedicated entirely on human scent evidence. She has presented her research at various national and international forums. She is a member of the American Chemical Society and an affiliate of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
Priscilla Reid, M.S.
Priscilla Reid completed a bachelor's in Criminal Justice and a Master's in Forensic Science at National University in San Diego Ca. She is a retired Reserve Sergeant with the San Diego County Sheriff department's Underwater Search and Recovery Unit. Her primary function was the training coordinator, unit administrative sergeant and primary scribe at all crime scene searches. Additionally, she is a retired U S Navy Commander. Her primary duties were as a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) agent. She was recalled to active duty twice and deployed to Japan onboard USS Kitty Hawk CV63 in support of Operation Desert Storm and spent a year deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Noble Eagle / Enduring Freedom. She was the Special Security Officer for the Southwest region, responsible for the six most southwestern states. During her 38 years of civil service she has written several instruction manuals and directives, has briefed the most senior level military officers and equivalent civilian counterparts.
Mark Hendley, B.S.
Administrative Business Assistant
Mark Hendley comes to Lubbock from New Mexico where he attended Eastern New Mexico University. He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice and History and spent several years working in the mental health field before coming to Texas Tech. He is currently the business manager for the Psychology department in addition to his position at the Institute.