2023 Summer Residency Cohort
Stellenbosch University, South Africa: Manager of Reintegration, Ubuntu Learning Community
Kofi Danso manages the Reintegration Component of the Ubuntu Learning Community (ULC) at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. The Ubuntu Learning Community is a partnership between Stellenbosch University and the South African Department of Correctional Service (DCS). Its aim is to challenge stereotypes and rehumanise learning by focusing on learning’s social, ubuntu-focused dimensions – collaboration, community-building, and connectedness.
Kofi is a Researcher at Incarceration Nations Network (INN), a global network and think-tank that supports, instigates, and popularizes innovative prison reform efforts around the world. He is in his final year Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of South Africa (UNISA). He is also a graduate of the P2CP and Ubuntu Learning Community (ULC) and a curator for The Writing on The Wall installation.
Utah Tech University, Utah: Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth Program
Mollie Hosmer-Dillard is a painter and arts educator. She teaches college credit art classes through Utah Tech University’s Higher Education for Incarcerated Youth (HEIY) Program and organizes public exhibitions of HEIY students’ work. Mollie is also currently the staff writer for the Education Justice Project, a comprehensive college-in-prison program based at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Mollie holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Indiana University. Her recent artistic research investigates working with communities to create large-scale “multi-vocal” paintings, images that celebrate a diversity of visual art styles and challenge traditional Western art’s emphasis on the isolated individual.
Yale University, Connecticut: Assistant Director, YPEI
Vanessa Estimé serves as Assistant Director for the Yale Prison Education Initiative at Dwight Hall at Yale. She has worked in higher education, the judicial branch of state government, and non-profit community agencies in New Haven and Bridgeport (Connecticut) since 2011. Vanessa received her BS in Legal Studies from the University of New Haven, and MSW from Simmons College School of Social Work. She is a licensed social worker and certified childbirth educator and birth doula. Vanessa is delighted to be a part of the Yale Prison Education Initiative and support the movement of college in prison.
Eastern University, Pennsylvania: Prison Education Program
Dr. John Fantuzzo is the Director of Eastern University’s Prison Education Program. John is an educator and philosopher who has worked in and around the criminal justice system for 15 years. He has participated in the Children’s Defense Fund’s “Cradle to Prison Pipeline” campaign, co-founded an Outreach Program for court-involved youth at Columbia University, and received certification and taught in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program. While at Valparaiso University (IN), John led the university’s prison education committee and partnered with colleagues to expand the university’s prison education offerings. John lives in Delaware County (PA) with his spouse (an art teacher) and two children (9, 11). His academic background includes a BA in philosophy from Gordon College, an MA in Philosophy and Social Policy from American University, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College. His writings have explored Max Weber and James Baldwin’s pedagogical ideas and the meaning of equality of opportunity, human dignity, and transformative education. John is honored to direct Eastern’s Prison Education Program and support everything it offers our neighbors who are incarcerated and returning from incarceration.
Yale University, Connecticut: College to Career Fellow, YPEI
Marisol Garcia is a graduate of the partnership between Middlesex Community College and Wesleyan University through the Center for Prison Education. Upon graduation, she returned to Trinity College to finish her undergraduate degree in Public Policy and Law and most recently her master’s in public policy. She plans on attending Vermont Law School in the fall semester, where she will study a juris doctorate curriculum in restorative justice. While completing her graduate degree, Marisol has been a fellow at both Yale Law School Access Program and a College to Career Fellow at Yale Prison Education Initiative. She has completed research on the stigma of mass incarceration, health care policy, end of life healthcare practices, and long-term impact of mass incarceration on the juvenile population.
University of Notre Dame, Indiana: Managing Director, Programs for Education in Prison (NDPEP)
Mike serves as the managing director of Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prison. This network of programs and partnerships in Indiana includes undergraduate liberal arts courses and degree programs within a women’s and men’s prison, evaluation of transformative prison education efforts, career development and re-entry support for students and alumni, and avenues for faculty research on incarceration. In addition to this role, Mike teaches courses on art, justice and community organizing at the University of Notre Dame.
Stellenbosch University, South Africa: General Administrator, Ubuntu Learning Community
Caitlin Jardim is the General Administrator for the Ubuntu Learning Community, a prison-university education initiative based at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She has been involved with ULC since before it even had a name and has assisted the Academic Director, Dr. Mary Nel, with its development and implementation since 2018. In 2019, Jardim graduated with ULC in the first-ever prison-university ULC short course. Whilst she believes prison education is fundamental in carceral spaces, she also advocates for alternative forms of criminal justice and is passionate about creating better conditions for those who are affected by the realities of the criminal justice system/incarceration. She has worked as a Research Assistant for Incarceration Nations Network and has tried to be as involved as possible with many other initiatives, both local and global, that are actively working on improving the lives of those incarcerated and when they return home.
Morehouse College, Georgia: Professor of Philosophy and Coordinator of AYCGL Higher Education in Prisons Initiative
Kipton E. Jensen, PhD, is a professor of philosophy and the director of the Leadership Studies Program in the Andrew Young Center for Global Leadership (AYCGL) at Morehouse College. He presently serves as the coordinator of the AYCGL Higher Education in Prisons Initiative. Since coming to Morehouse, Jensen has published on Howard Thurman and the social justice leadership legacy at Morehouse College. Jensen recently published a collection of Howard Thurman’s Sermons on the Parables (Orbis Books, 2018) and a manuscript titled Howard Thurman: Philosophy, Civil Rights, and the Search for Common Ground (University of South Carolina Press, 2019). Prior to coming to Morehouse College, Dr. Jensen taught philosophy at the University of Botswana (2004-2008).
Southern University, Louisiana: JD Candidate, Louisana College Prison Project
Keyra Johnson is originally from New Orleans, LA. She is a former high school English teacher turned law student, passionate about juvenile justice and prison reform. In her time in the classroom, she witnessed firsthand how much hope and quality of life education gives people who may otherwise be disenfranchised. Her goal is to become a juvenile justice judge and be an agent of true prison reform in Louisiana.
Eastern University, Pennsylvania: Administrative Coordinator, Prison Education Program
Mary Johnson serves as the Administrative Coordinator to Eastern University’s Prison Education Program. She is a recent graduate of Eastern who studied Special Education and Sociology. Mary has been involved with work focused on interfaith dialogue, restorative justice, and homelessness. She believes justice work must live out the following words of Lillan Watson: “If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
Goucher College, Maryland: Director of Advancement, Goucher Prison Education Partnership
Andrea Jones is a fundraiser with more than 25 years of experience raising money for education, primarily at Johns Hopkins University where she worked for 18 years. In May 2021, she joined the team at the Goucher Prison Education Partnership as the Director of Advancement, overseeing fundraising and communications. Andrea holds a BA from Columbia University and a JD from the College of William and Mary. She has always been passionate about the power of education to transform lives, and she finds GPEP students to be the most deserving students she has ever encountered.
Wesleyan University, Connecticut: Program Coordinator, Center for Prison Education
Victoria Justice joined Wesleyan’s Center for Prison Education (CPE) as Program Coordinator in the Fall of 2020. Victoria holds a BA and MA in Political Science from Georgia State University. While in school, Victoria worked towards becoming the first student volunteer with Georgia State’s Prison Education Project (GSUPEP). She has since dedicated her efforts to support programs with the mission to expand access to quality education within communities it is not traditionally accessible– primarily being correctional facilities in Georgia, West Virginia, and now, Connecticut. In her time with CPE, Victoria has played a supportive role in identifying gaps and led initiatives to improve, and even rebuild, critical components of programming.
University of Missouri, Missouri: Associate Professor of English and Founder and Director of the Missouri Prison Outreach Program
William Kerwin is an associate professor of English at the University of Missouri, where he teaches Shakespeare and other early modern literature, the medical humanities, and Irish Studies. He is the founder and director of the Missouri Prison Outreach Program, which is providing services — but not yet for-credit coursework — at the Moberly Correctional Center in central Missouri.
The College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago: Senior Lecturer
Keron is a Senior Lecturer at COSTAATT. He considers himself an advocate for criminal justice reform. His research interests lie at the intersection of restorative justice and post colonial studies. He adopts a peacemaking framework to life and scholarship.
Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom: Co-Director of Doing What Really Matters
Ruth aims to break down the barriers to successful delivery of Higher Education in UK prisons. She is an education specialist, lecturer, and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and has significant experience working with people excluded from mainstream education, especially in secure settings. She is co-director of Doing What Really Matters, a social enterprise in the UK which supports the provision of higher education for people in prison and on release, amplifying the voices of people with lived experience of the criminal justice system and enabling authoritative contributions to prison policy and research, as well as creating cultures of acceptance within universities and wider society. She also serves as treasurer for the European Prison Education Association (EPEA), organising the conference in Norway in June 2023. She has authored a wide range of academic publications, cited and featured internationally. Considering herself a student as well as a teacher, she is passionate about inclusion and equality.
Southern University, Louisiana: JD Candidate, Vice President, Louisana College Prison Project
Jazzmyn Moultrie is a second-year law student at Southern University Law Center and the Vice President of the Louisiana College Prison Project “LCCP” student organization. She is a native of Connecticut but a long-time resident of Atlanta, GA. Moultrie is a South Carolina State University graduate with a BA in Political Science, cum laude. She has professional experience in Implementation Management in healthcare technology & education. She is inspired by her experience in education to pursue a legal career in education law and dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline.
Eilin R. Perez
Yale University, Connecticut: Postdoc
Eilin Rafael Perez is Postdoctoral Associate in History at Yale University, with an emphasis in Public Humanities.
Darwin University, Australia: Head of Humanities
Dr. Adelle Sefton-Rowston teaches a prison arts program in Darwin Correctional Precinct in the Northern Territory of Australia. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship, teaching in the Alabama Prison Arts + Education Project in 2022. Adelle is currently the Head of Humanities at Charles Darwin University and teaches literature at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is a founding editor of Borderlands Magazine – a literary journal for the Northern Territory that includes prison poetry and prose.
Angelo State University, Texas: Assistant Professor in Curriculum and Instruction
After earning a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and enjoying a career in local government, Dr. Gina Shipley discovered her passion for education as an academic advisor at the secondary level. Always having her eye on a post-secondary career, she pursued a Master of Education in Student Development and Leadership in Higher Education from Angelo State University and then went on to earn a Doctor of Education in Leadership in Higher Education from Hardin Simmons University. Currently, she serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Angelo State University. Dr. Shipley’s teaching assignments primarily focus on courses addressing social, cultural, diversity, equity, and inclusion issues, as well as leadership-focused courses. Her research interests include studying basic needs insecurity among college students, serving marginalized populations, and working alongside colleagues to create solutions promoting success for students who are facing food and housing insecurity.
Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri: Program Coordinator, Wash-U Prison Education Project
Savannah Sowell is the Program Coordinator for the Washington University in St. Louis Prison Education Project, which has been a member of BPI’s Consortium for the Liberal Arts in Prison since 2014. Savannah graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Political Science and Urban Studies. She was first introduced to the world of higher education in prison through an Inside-Out course at SCI Somerset in Pennsylvania, where she studied mass incarceration in America alongside her incarcerated classmates. In her current role with WashU PEP, Savannah assists in program development, provides student support, produces marketing materials, and serves as the first point of contact with the program for faculty, staff, and volunteers.
Evergreen State College, Washington: Project Lead for the Evergreen Prison Education Project
Eirik Steinhoff has worked at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA since 2013, where he teaches and co-teaches interdisciplinary programs and courses with titles like “How to Do Things with Words,” “Imperialisms,” “Forensics,” “Literary Arts Toolkit,” “Words/Woods,” “Gateways for Incarcerated Youth,” and “Reimagining Community Safety.” He has also taught Shakespeare, critical theory, poetry, and poetics at the University of Chicago (where he received his PhD in English), Bard College (where he got his BA), and Mills College. In the early 2000s, he edited Chicago Review, and in the early 2010s, he curated a pamphlet series called A Fiery Flying Roule (available in book form from Station Hill/Publication Studio-Hudson). In 2010, he taught at Green Haven Correctional Facility in NY under the auspices of the Bard Prison Initiative, and in 2014, he co-facilitated a weeklong reading and writing seminar with faculty at Al-Quds University in Palestine. Since 2015, he has worked with incarcerated teachers and students at Clallam Bay Corrections Center, Stafford Creek Corrections Center, and Washington Correction Center in Washington state.
Leanne Trapedo Sims
Knox College, Illinois: Daniel J. Logan Assistant Professor of Peace and Justice
Leanne Trapedo Sims conducted trans-disciplinary research at the sole women’s prison in Hawai‘i. Her work interrogates the intersections of gender, Indigeneity, violence, and state power in colonized Hawai‘i. Her book — Reckoning with Restorative Justice: Hawai‘i Women’s Prison Writing — is forthcoming with Duke University Press, Fall 2023.
At Knox, Trapedo Sims is shaping a new, interdisciplinary program in Peace and Justice studies with a focus on critical carceral studies. She is building an Inside-Out-style Prison Exchange program with the nearby Henry Hill Correctional Center; as well as establishing a Restorative Justice Laboratory at Knox College.
Augustana College, Illinois: Executive Director, Augustana Prison Education Program
Dr. Sharon Varallo, Executive Director of the Augustana Prison Education Program, is a professor of Communication Studies at Augustana College with special interest in intercultural communication and the cultural study of time. During her career, she has published work on the scholarship of teaching and learning and on interpersonal and family communication topics. She has taught and accompanied students in numerous off-campus programs including in China, Japan, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, and the wilderness of Holden Village in Washington’s Cascade mountains. Intercultural experiences have greatly aided her current work bringing college into prison.