Meet the Lab

Alicia Nijdam-Jones, PhD

Principal Investigator

Alicia Nijdam-Jones, Ph.D., C. Psych. (CV)

Dr. Nijdam-Jones (she/her) is a Registered Psychologist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Manitoba, who practices in the areas of Clinical and Forensic Psychology. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (forensic specialization) from Fordham University and has an MA in Criminology from Simon Fraser University. After her doctoral studies, she completed a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. She specializes in the area of violence risk assessment, malingering assessment, stalking, and the use of forensic assessment measures with linguistically, ethnically, and culturally diverse samples. Her current projects examine the cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural validity of violence risk and malingering assessment tools in Latin America, the United States, and Canada. She is fluent in both English and Spanish, and is working with collaborators at UCSF, Fordham University, University of Virginia, as well as researchers in Spain and Latin America.

Graduate Students

Madison Hardman, BA

Madison Hardman (she/her) is a Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Manitoba. Her previous research has focused primarily on women’s mental health experiences, particularly during the perinatal period (pregnancy up to 12 months postpartum). Madison’s thesis research will explore the mental health service and information needs of pregnant, postpartum, and non-perinatal female-identifying individuals involved with the Canadian Criminal Justice System. In her free time, Madison enjoys trying new restaurants and spending time at her cottage.

Anthony Elsom, BA

Anthony L Elsom is a Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Manitoba. He completed his B.A (Honours) in Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Richard MacLennan at the University of Regina in which his thesis focused on determining the correlates of suicide ideation for Indigenous Peoples in Canada. Most recently, he completed work on a research grant graciously funded by the Canadian Research Data Centre Network (CRDCN) and Indigenous Service Canada/Crown-Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (ISC/CIRNAC) that further examined the factors affecting suicidal thoughts and attempts in Indigenous. Anthony’s Master’s thesis work will continue to focus on identifying the protective and risk factors associated with the disproportionate rates of suicide ideation and attempts experienced by Indigenous Peoples across Canada. He plans on completing graduate studies in Clinical Psychology with a focus on modifying or adapting Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) or Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) to meet the needs of minority groups such as Indigenous people in Canada.

Annalena Schmid, B.A.

Annalena Schmid (she/her) is a second-year student at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, completing her Forensic Psychology Master’s program. Within the program, she is doing her research internship and writing her thesis in the PLC Lab at the University of Manitoba under the supervision of Dr. Nijdam-Jones. Her thesis will be part of a larger project on Gladue Reports and violence risk assessment in the Canadian Criminal Justice System. Her primary interests are cross-cultural violence risk assessment and the role of culture in the courtroom. Originally from Germany, she brought her ice skates to enjoy some skating time with friends in the cold Canadian winter.

Brandon Burgess, M.Sc.

Brandon Burgess is a first year Master’s student in the Clinical Psychology program at the University of Manitoba. In 2018 Brandon earned his BSc. in Psychology (honours) from Saint Francis Xavier University and earned his MSc. in Applied Psychology (Forensic Stream) at Saint Mary’s University in 2021. His previous research, supervised by Dr. Skye Stephens, has focused on atypical sexual interests, and longitudinal patterns of sexual offending. He is currently interested in examining access to and availability of specialized forensic assessments and related mental health services in rural and remote communities. In his free time Brandon enjoys spending time with his pets, reading, and playing guitar.

Undergraduate Students

Jordan Cortvriendt, B.A.

Jordan Cortvriendt (she/her) graduated from the University of Manitoba in June 2022 with her B.A. Honours in Psychology. Her Honour’s thesis was completed under the supervision of Dr. Nijdam-Jones, and investigated the predictive validity of the VRAG-R in a culturally diverse sample of adult men incarcerated in Mexico. This year, Jordan is continuing to work with Dr. Nijdam-Jones as a research assistant in the PLC Lab. Jordan’s primary research interests are violence risk assessments and the use of forensic assessment measures with linguistically, ethnically, and culturally diverse samples. Jordan plans on continuing her education and pursuing a Master’s degree and PhD in Forensic Clinical Psychology. From there, she wants to continue doing research as well as work to assess, treat, and rehabilitate individuals involved in the criminal justice system. In her free time, Jordan enjoys being active and spending time with her family and dog.

Katérine Aminot

Katérine Aminot (she/her) is a fourth-year student in the B.A. Psychology Honours Degree Program at the University of Manitoba. She plans on graduating from her undergraduate program in 2024 and continuing her education afterwards to pursue a master’s degree and a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a focus in forensics. Her primary interests include malingering, abnormal psychology, and the NCRMD defense. In her free time, Katérine stays active by playing hockey and soccer and enjoys spending lots of time camping, hiking, and canoeing in the summer. 

Ashley Manaigre (Honours 2023)

Ashley Manaigre (she/her) is in her fourth and last year at University of Manitoba pursuing a B.Sc. honours psychology degree. Her primary areas of research interests are stalking measures and behaviours, as well as abnormal psychology. She plans to continue her schooling and pursue a master’s degree and PhD in clinical/forensic psychology. She spends her free time playing ringette, running, golfing, and reading.

Marianna Sawatsky, B.A.

Marianne Sawatsky (she/her) obtained her honors bachelor’s degree in psychology from Booth University College in 2022, the focus of which was testing the strength of memory phenomena in online, multi-modal settings. During her final year of her undergraduate degree, she was the first student to be taken on as an intern at Selkirk Mental Health Center in their in-patient forensic program. From there, she joined the PLC lab as a research assistant whose research focus is testing the validity of the SAPROF measurement tool in Spanish-speaking, incarcerated populations. She hopes to further her education by doing a masters and PhD in forensic clinical psychology. Currently, Sawatsky works at the Mental Health Crisis Response Center, where she is able to help individuals in acute mental health distress. In her spare time, Sawatsky enjoys cooking, travelling, and spending time with her family. 

Abby Vovchuk

Abby Vovchuk (she/her) is a fourth-year student pursuing her B.Sc. Honours in Psychology at the University of Manitoba. After the completion of her Undergraduate degree, Abby plans to continue her education and obtain a Master’s degree and PhD in Forensic Psychology. Her primary research interests include cultural considerations of the social and behavioural factors associated with criminal behaviour as well as feigning and NCRMD. In her free time, Abby enjoys swimming, sketching and hanging out with her family and friends.