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Who We Are

Megan Callaghan

Megan Callaghan
Megan Callaghan is Director of College Operations for the Bard Prison Initiative and a member of the faculty.

Prior to joining BPI in 2011 she was Visiting Assistant Professor at Bard College for six years, during which time she taught in the Anthropology and First-Year Seminar Programs. Additionally, she has taught at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and for the Bard College Language and Thinking Program. Callaghan’s scholarship focuses on youth, spatial theory, gender, and language politics in Northern Ireland, where she has conducted ethnographic research since 1998. She was a National Science Foundation Fellow and has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Callaghan holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan; a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems from Pennsylvania State University; and a B.A. from Princeton University.

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann
Ellen Condliffe Lagemann is Distinguished Fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative. A leading scholar in the history of education, Lagemann was President of the Spencer Foundation and Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University, where she was also the Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education. Previously she was Professor of History and Education at New York University; Chair of the Department of the Humanities and the Social Sciences and Director of the Center for the Study of American Culture and Education at the School of Education at New York University. Lagemann was also Professor of History and Education and Director at the Institute of Philosophy and Politics of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University; and a Member of the Department of History in the Faculty of Arts & Sciences at Columbia University. Lagemann is the author or editor of ten books, including most recently What Is College For? The Public Purpose of Higher Education and An Elusive Science: The Troubling History of Education Research, as well as numerous articles, reviews, reports, and book chapters. She has published and spoken extensively in the fields of education, the history of education, and philanthropy over the last thirty years.

She has been president of the National Academy of Education and of the History of Education Society and is a former trustee of the Russell Sage, Greenwall, and Markle Foundations and a former vice-chair of the board of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral and Social Sciences in Stanford, California. She has served as chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Teacher Preparation and president of the board of trustees of Concord Academy, Concord, Massachusetts. She currently serves on the boards of the District Management Council and the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, as well as on the advisory committees for the George Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at NYU and the Fund for Columbia County of the Berkshire Taconic Foundation.

In addition to her role at BPI, Lagemann is the Levy Institute Research Professor at Bard College and a Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute. She holds a Ph.D., with distinction, in History and Education from Columbia University; an M.A. in Social Studies from Teachers College at Columbia University; and an A.B., cum laude from Smith College.

Robert E. Fullilove

Robert E. Fullilove
Robert E. Fullilove serves as the Senior Advisor to BPI’s public health program. He is the Associate Dean for Community and Minority Affairs, Professor of Clinical Sociomedical Sciences and the co-director of the Community Research Group at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. He also co-directs the newly formed degree program in Urbanism and Community Health in the Mailman School’s Department of Sociomedical Sciences.

Dr. Fullilove has authored numerous articles in the area of minority health. From 1995 to 2001, he served on the Board of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) at the National Academy of Sciences. Since 1996, he has served on five IOM study committees that have produced reports on a variety of topics including substance abuse and addiction, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and damp indoor spaces and health. In 2003 he was designated a National Associate of the National Academies of Science. In 1998 he was appointed to the Advisory Committee on HIV and STD Prevention (ACHSP) at the Centers for Disease Control, and in July, 2000, he became the committee’s chair. Finally, in 2004, he was appointed to the National Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health [NIH].

Dr. Fullilove serves on the editorial boards of the journals Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and the Journal of Public Health Policy. He has twice been awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award at the Mailman School of Public Health, and in May, 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Bank Street College of Education.

Jeffrey Jurgens

Jeffrey Jurgens
Jeffrey Jurgens is Academic Co-Director of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, and Fellow for Anthropology and Social Theory at the Bard Prison Initiative. In 2010 he joined the BPI faculty from Bard College, where he taught for five years in the Anthropology and Middle East Studies programs. Jurgens’ scholarly interests revolve around themes of migration, citizenship, youth culture, and public memory. He specifically focuses on migrants and post-migrants from Turkey in contemporary Berlin, and he has conducted ethnographic fieldwork and language training in Turkey as well. Recent and forthcoming publications include pieces in Policy and Society, Transit, and the edited volume Walls, Borders, and Boundaries. Jurgens has been awarded fellowships and grants from, among others, the Berlin Institute for Advanced Study, IIE Fulbright Program, National Humanities Center, and the National Science Foundation.

In addition to his role at BPI, Jurgens is Associate Fellow at the Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and Humanities. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Colorado College.

Madeleine George

Madeleine George
Madeleine George is the Fellow for Curriculum and Program Development at the Bard Prison Initiative. From 2006 to 2013, when it closed following Hurricane Sandy, she was Site Director of the BPI campus at Bayview Correctional Facility in Manhattan. She is also a Faculty Associate at Bard's Institute for Writing and Thinking. Madeleine has taught at Barnard College, SUNY-Purchase, and New York University, where she was on the faculty of the Expository Writing Program for seven years. As a playwright, Madeleine has received a Whiting Award, the Princess Grace Award, and the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award, and was a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. She holds an M.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, from Cornell University.
 

Jasmine Graves

Jasmine Graves
Jasmine D. Graves is the Director of the Public Health Program at the Bard Prison Initiative. In this role, Jasmine will help create a fellowship program in public health designed to ensure that formerly incarcerated individuals will have a prominent and influential voice in debates that will shape the changing nature of public health research and the delivery of community healthcare.
 
Prior to joining BPI, she held research and administrative positions at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), where she most recently served as Special Assistant to the Commissioner. In this role she supported the Commissioner in developing policies and initiatives to advance health equity in New York City, serving as content expert in areas related to criminal justice. Prior to this role Ms. Graves worked within the Bureau of Correctional Health Services at DOHMH where she spent two years conducting qualitative research on the occurrence of serious injuries and the health impacts of solitary confinement among persons incarcerated on Rikers Island, in New York City. Apart from her work at the NYC DOHMH, Ms. Graves was a Human Rights Fellow in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations.
 
Ms. Graves holds a M​PH from the Mailman School of Public Health​ at Columbia University, and a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles.
 

Daniel B. Karpowitz

Daniel B. Karpowitz
Daniel B. Karpowitz is Director of Policy and Academics for the Bard Prison Initiative and Lecturer in Law & the Humanities at Bard College. Karpowitz has served as a faculty member, director, and leader of BPI since 2001. He has been responsible for major curricular and academic design and decision-making. Karpowitz was the co-founder of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, an organization dedicated to supporting college-in-prison programs throughout the country. He also works as a higher education and criminal justice policy consultant to develop governmental reform proposals. Karpowitz has written and spoken extensively on criminal justice and the benefits of higher education in prison. He was a Soros Justice Fellow at the Open Society Institute, a Fellow at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and a Fulbright Fellow in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Karpowitz holds a J.D. with Honors from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a Public Interest Law Fellow. He also earned a B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania.

Max Kenner

Max Kenner
Max Kenner is the founder and Executive Director of the Bard Prison Initiative. He conceived of and created the Bard Prison Initiative as a student volunteer organization when he was an undergraduate at Bard College in 1999. After gaining the support of the College and cooperation of the New York State Department of Correctional Services, he has overseen the growth of the program into a credit-bearing and, subsequently, degree-granting program in 2001. In addition to organization management and program design for BPI, Kenner is responsible for fundraising and management of relations with New York State and the Department of Correctional Services.

Kenner has led the expansion of BPI from a pilot program with 15 students to a nationally recognized education initiative enrolling nearly 300 students within six campuses in correctional facilities throughout New York State. Kenner has become a leading advocate for the national restoration of college-in-prison and frequently speaks publicly in a wide variety of forums about the BPI model in education and criminal justice policy. He is a co-founder of the Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison, which is supporting other colleges and universities in establishing and maintaining ambitious college-in-prison projects. Wesleyan University and Grinnell and Goucher Colleges, in Connecticut, Iowa and Maryland, respectively, are the first partners in the national project.

He also serves as Vice President for Institutional Initiatives and Advisor to the President on Public Policy & College Affairs at Bard College. Kenner was a 2013-'14 fellow-in-residence at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University. In July 2014 Kenner was appointed to serve on Governor Cuomo’s New York State Council on Community Re-Entry and Reintegration, Re-Entry Subcommittee. In October 2014 Kenner received the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in Education.

Rana Saadi Liebert

Rana Saadi Liebert

Rana Saadi Liebert is Site Director at Fishkill Correctional Facility and a member of the Bard Prison Initiative faculty. She has taught in Classical Studies, First-Year Seminar, and Language and Thinking at Bard, as well as in the Department of Classics at the University of Chicago. Liebert's scholarship focuses on Archaic and Hellenistic poetry and ancient philosophy. Her publications include articles in Classical Philology and American Journal of Philology, and she has received fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the University of Chicago. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Chicago, and M.A. in Classics from Yale University, and a B.A. from Bard College.

Laura Liebman

Laura Liebman
Laura Liebman is Director of Development for the Bard Prison Initiative, responsible for overseeing all fundraising initiatives, strategies, and stewardship, including annual and major gifts, and corporate and foundation grants and relations. Liebman also provides strategic development support to the Consortium members and Reentry Program.

Prior to her work with BPI, Liebman has worked as a labor and employment lawyer at Tonkon Torp LLP in Portland, Oregon, and most recently the Major Gifts Officer for Albany Law School, where she was charged with the responsibility of soliciting major gifts, developing alumni programming, and creating innovative fundraising initiatives. While at Albany, Laura successfully increased major gifts from individuals and foundations to the Law School, gifts that led to the creation of new scholarship funds and also helped the Annual Fund reach historic highs.

Liebman holds a M.A. and B.A. from Brandeis, Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude, attended the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, and earned her J.D. from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College with honors.

Delia Mellis

Delia Mellis
Delia Mellis is Director of College Writing and Academic Resources for the Bard Prison Initiative. She has been a member of the BPI faculty since 2008 and taught for four years in the Department of Urban Studies at Barnard College. Mellis has written and lectured on race and gender in U.S. history throughout her career. She holds a Ph.D. in United States History from the Graduate Center of City University of New York and a B.A. from Bard College.

Christina Mengert

Christina Mengert
Christina Mengert is the Assistant Director of College Programs, Site Director at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, and has taught literature and writing for the Bard Prison Initiative since 2009. A poet and screenwriter, she received her Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Denver, and her MFA from Brown University in Literary Arts. She is the author of As We Are Sung  (2011, Burning Deck) and co-editor of the anthology 12x12: Conversations in Poetry and Poetics (2009, University of Iowa Press). Her poems and essays have been published in over 30 journals and websites, including Boston Review, New American Writing, Tupelo Quarterly, and The Volta. She has written three films, including Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding, and recently produced the independent film, Mahjong and the West.

Jessica Neptune

Jessica Neptune
Jessica Neptune is Associate Director of National Programs for the Bard Prison Initiative and Director of BPI's Chicago office. She was an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Public Fellow with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), where she worked on the Obama Administration’s Federal Interagency Reentry Council. Her scholarship is on 20th century American History with a focus on carceral studies, race, and the policies and politics of poverty, addiction, and punishment. She has written for the Journal of the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs and the Journal of Social History and has taught courses on incarceration, race and politics, U.S. 20th century, and the BA Thesis Seminar at the University of Chicago.

Neptune holds a bachelor's degree from Bard College and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.
 

David Register

David Register
David Register is Faculty Fellow and Director of Debate at the Bard Prison Initiative. Prior to joining BPI, Register spent six years coaching debate and teaching courses in rhetoric, argumentation, and public speaking at the University of Vermont. He has trained students in argumentation and debate across the United States and Europe, and currently codirects the Bard Debate Union and teaches public speaking at Bard College. He holds an M.S. from the University of North Texas and a B.F.A. from Emporia State University.
 

Linda M. Steubesand

Linda M. Steubesand
Linda M. Steubesand is Program Associate to the Bard Prison Initiative, responsible for office management, and coordinating and organizing program details at all levels. She has had many years of experience in administrative support for non-profit and other organizations. She holds a B.A. from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Jed B. Tucker

Jed B. Tucker
Jed B. Tucker is Director of Reentry at the Bard Prison Initiative. He served previously as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Bard College and as an Adjunct Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, as well as the Fellow for Teaching and Research at BPI. Tucker has conducted research, written, and lectured about college-in-prison and its effects, and he has been a member of the BPI faculty since 2003. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology from Teachers College, Columbia University, an M.A. in Anthropology from Columbia University, and a B.A. from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Robert Tynes

Robert Tynes
Robert Tynes is Site Director for Eastern Correctional Facility and a member of the Bard Prison Initiative faculty. He is also a Faculty Associate at the Bard College Institute for Writing & Thinking. Tynes has taught political science courses at the State University of New York (SUNY)-Albany and SUNY-New Paltz, and he teaches writing for the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College. His research focuses on child soldiers, political violence, African politics, the political economy of oil in Africa and American foreign policy. Before coming to BPI, Tynes served as the Research Director for the Project on Violent Conflict in the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy at SUNY-Albany. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from SUNY-Albany, an M.A. in communications from the University of Washington and a B.F.A. from New York University.

Joe Vallese

Joe Vallese

Joe Vallese is Site Director at Taconic Correctional Facility and a member of the Bard Prison Initiative faculty. Before joining BPI, he taught for seven years in the Expository Writing Program at New York University. Vallese is co-editor of a collection of contemporary fiction, poetry, and essays titled What’s Your Exit? A Literary Detour through New Jersey. A finalist for the 2012 Pushcart Prize, he also received a notable mention in Best American Essays 2012. He holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from New York University, an M.A.T. in Literature and Writing from Bard College, and a B.A. from Bard College. 

Amanda Vladick

Amanda Vladick
Amanda Vladick is Site Director for Green Haven Correctional Facility and a member of the Bard Prison Initiative faculty. Since 2007, she has also taught English and writing at Marist College and the Culinary Institute of America. Amanda is a magazine columnist and assistant editor, and she has published a number of articles, essays, and short stories. She holds an M.F.A in creative writing from Stony Brook and a B.A. magna cum laude from Marist College.

Pamela J. Wallace

Pamela J. Wallace
Pamela J. Wallace is Site Director at Coxsackie Correctional Facility and a member of the Bard Prison Initiative faculty. She has taught drawing, sculpture, and contemporary art seminars at SUNY New Paltz since 1999, as well as at other colleges and workshop venues. An accomplished sculptor, her work has been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions, has been recognized with grants and awards, and is included in collections around the world.  Wallace is currently represented by the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY. She holds an M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University and a B.A. from Bard College.

Craig Steven Wilder

Craig Steven Wilder
Craig Steven Wilder is a Senior Fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative, and Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Professor Wilder’s most recent book is Ebony & Ivy: Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities (New York: Bloomsbury, 2013). He is also the author of A Covenant with Color: Race and Social Power in Brooklyn (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000/2001); and In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City (New York: New York University Press, 2001/2004). His recent essays include: “War and Priests: Catholic Colleges and Slavery in the Age of Revolution,” in Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, eds., Slavery’s Capitalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016); and “‘Driven . . . from the School of the Prophets’: The Colonizationist Ascendance at General Theological Seminary,” the inaugural essay in the digital journal New York History.  
 
Wilder has appeared in and advised numerous documentaries, including Ken Burns’ “Race Man” (2016), which explores the transformative career of Jackie Robinson; “The Central Park Five,” which received the 2013 Peabody Award; Kelly Anderson’s acclaimed exploration of gentrification, “My Brooklyn”; and Ric Burns’ prize-winning series, “New York: A Documentary History.”
 
He has taught at Dartmouth College, Williams College, and Long Island University, and has been a visiting professor at the New School University and University College London. 
 
Wilder holds an M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University and a B.A. from Fordham University.