Mara Merlino, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology and Sociology; Graduate Program Coordinator
Academic Affairs
School of Behavioral and Social Sciences

J.S. Hathaway Hall
Suite 229
204 University Drive
Frankfort, KY 40601


Phone: (502) 597-5053


Dr. Merlino is a graduate of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Social Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and is qualified to teach in both psychology and sociology. She is an ongoing member of the graduate faculty of the UNR Judicial Studies Program, the only academic Ph.D. and Master’s degree granting program for the nation’s judiciary. This program is offered jointly by The National Judicial College, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Merlino’s research interests include the social construction of the admissibility of expert witnesses and expert testimony, the reliability and validity of various areas of forensic science, jury research, judicial use of court-appointed experts, and the influences of sex and race on sentencing decisions. She has numerous publications and presentations at national and international venues. Dr. Merlino enjoys teaching Introduction to Psychology, Seminar in Forensic Psychology, and Social Psychology. Since coming to Kentucky State University, she has established the undergraduate Interdisciplinary Behavioral & Social Sciences lab, where students are actively engaged in funded and additional research projects, as well as, developed and is directing the Interdisciplinary Behavioral Sciences Master of Arts program.

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D. University of Nevada, Reno