2024 Summer Residency Cohort

Michelle Brooks

Boston College, Massachusetts: Assistant Program Director, Boston College Prison Education Program

Michelle Brooks serves as the Assistant Director for the Boston College Prison Education Program. She manages BCPEP’s reentry initiative to transition students to taking classes at the Chestnut Hill campus. She also develops best practices for learning management technologies in the prison, supports degree program administration, and is designing a college success course for returning students. Michelle joined BCPEP in 2023 after working for four years in alternative education and juvenile justice. Michelle received her Ph.D. in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She grew up in Southern California and lives in Boston.

Darryl Byers-Robinson ’15

Virginia Consensus for Higher Education in Prison, VA: Higher Education in Prison Organizer

Darryl Byers-Robinson graduated from Bard College, through the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI), with a Liberal Arts degree. Since returning home, he has served as the Program Director at a therapeutic youth program for victims of abuse and a Pastor at three Pennsylvania ministries. Additionally, Darryl has worked as an advisor to several Pennsylvania colleges and universities on their higher education in prison programs. He has dedicated his life to giving back to the community, using his personal experiences as an example to youth and adults from underserved communities or while incarcerated, to find hope and personal growth through education. As a criminal justice advocate, he is a frequent public speaker, traveling across the country speaking to students, communities, legislators, and at conferences supporting criminal justice reform. Currently, he is the Organizer for the Virginia Consensus for Higher Education in Prison, a statewide initiative to make college education available for all eligible incarcerated learners.

Jim Cunningham

University of Notre Dame, Indiana: Assistant Program Director for Reentry and Alumni Services, Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prison

Jim serves as Assistant Program Director for Reentry and Alumni Services with Notre Dame Programs for Education in Prison (NDPEP), providing career development and reentry support for students and alumni of the Moreau College Initiative (MCI). Jim earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Notre Dame, Bachelor of Business Administration from St. Xavier University, and Associate of Science degree from Moraine Valley Community College.

Ann W. Duncan

Goucher College, Maryland: Executive Director of the Goucher Prison Education Partnership

Dr. Ann W. Duncan is the Executive Director of the Goucher Prison Education Partnership (GPEP) and Susan D. Morgan Professor of American Studies and Religion at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. Her research and teaching focus on religion and politics, new religious movements, and motherhood and reproductive justice in Baltimore. As the new Executive Director of GPEP, she will be focusing on shifting students to full-time status through greater integration of learning and resources between the main and prison campuses.

Justus Ghormley

Moreau College, Indiana: Director of Moreau College Initiative

Justus Ghormley enjoys gardening, drawing, painting, making music, writing children’s stories, bird watching and hiking. Often he is joined by one of his kids or his wife. Sometimes a cat follows.

Michael Griggs

UCLA, California: Incoming Ph.D. student in the Social Welfare Department, Pitzer College, Inside-Out Pathway to BA alumnus

Michael Griggs, an incoming Ph.D. student in the UCLA Social Welfare Department, is a justice-impacted scholar-activist whose educational journey began inside a California prison. This experience fueled his passion for criminal justice reform, leading him to work with community-based organizations throughout the state, particularly focusing on juvenile justice issues. He brings a unique perspective shaped by both his academic achievements – a BA in Social Justice from Pitzer College and an MSW from CSU San Bernardino – and firsthand knowledge of the system. His research interests center on educational equity within prison programs, ensuring access to college opportunities for incarcerated individuals, and achieving parity between the educational experiences offered inside and outside prison walls.

Steve Haynes

Rhodes College, Tennessee: Professor of Religious Studies, Director of the Rhodes Liberal Arts in Prison Program

Steve Haynes is Professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Liberal Arts in Prison Program at Rhodes College, which he began in 2016. For his work at Rhodes he received the Day Award for Outstanding Research in 1997, the Day Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2001, and the Jones Award for Outstanding Service in 2023. He is the author or editor of fourteen books and is currently working on developing a BA in Liberal Studies at the Women’s Therapeutic Residential Center, a state prison in Henning where over half the women incarcerated by the state of Tennessee reside.

Corinne Kannenberg

Communications Director, Alliance for Higher Education in Prison

Corinne Kannenberg is the Communications Director at the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison. She received a Ph.D. in medieval history from Princeton University in 2021, and her scholarly research focuses on the material culture of disenfranchised and dissident religious communities in medieval southern France. As a graduate student, she taught college writing composition and history courses through Princeton’s Prison Teaching Initiative, both at Garden State Youth Correctional Center and via a correspondence course during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, she was awarded an ACLS Leading Edge Fellowship at Restore Justice in Chicago, where she worked on a storytelling project focused on juvenile life without parole sentences in Illinois. Corinne is also on the Petey Greene Program National Advisory Board.

Keron King

College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago: Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice

Keron King is a Senior Lecturer in Criminal Justice at the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago. His research interests include community oriented policing, democratic policing, police legitimacy, procedural justice, crime prevention, police reform, restorative justice and the reintegration of formerly incarcerated men and women. As an educator he has taught the entire breadth of the criminal justice spectrum from introductory courses in criminal justice to seminal level courses in penal abolition. His teaching philosophy is best capsuled by the words of Paulo Freire: “…education is about dialogue…”. Dr. King adopts a post-colonial theoretical framework to examine the issues of crime and justice where the philosophy of Peacemaking Criminology is often prominent. His doctoral dissertation explored how residents of an urban community in Trinidad and Tobago constructed their experiences with the police.

Derra Larsen

Colorado State University, Colorado: Ph.D. Student in the Education, Equity, and Transformation Department

Derra Larsen is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Education, Equity, and Transformation within the School of Education at Colorado State University. As a Graduate Teaching Assistant in her doctoral program, she teaches two undergraduate education courses. She holds a Master of Liberal Studies in Creative Writing from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Education from Colorado State University. Additionally, she has taught middle school and high school English Language Arts, a college-level creative writing course, and has worked with incarcerated writers both locally and nationally.

Armando Lizarraga

The University of Texas at Austin, Texas: Director of Pedagogy and Practice at Texas Prison Education Initiative

A native of Inglewood, California, Armando Lizarraga is a rising fourth-year doctoral candidate in the program of higher education leadership and policy at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). Armando is a graduate research assistant for Project MALES (Mentoring to Achieve Latino Educational Success and the director of pedagogy and practice with the Texas Prison Education Initiative at UT Austin. His research broadly focuses on postsecondary education in carceral facilities, financial aid access to incarcerated students, and supporting formerly incarcerated students in higher education institutions. Armando earned an Associate of Arts in general studies from El Camino College, a Bachelor of Arts in Chicana/o studies and sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master of Arts in higher and postsecondary education from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Alex Maco

Villanova University, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education in Prisons, Program Coordinator

Alex Maco serves as the Program Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Consortium for Higher Education in Prisons (PA CHEP). After earning a B.A. in Mathematics from Vassar College, Alex worked in finance and accounting for over a decade. Later, driven by a passion for social justice, he pursued a Master of Social Service (M.S.S.) from Bryn Mawr College. In his current role, Alex coordinates the operations of PA CHEP and develops strategies to advance its mission. He actively engages in advocacy efforts, collaborating with lawmakers and stakeholders to address policy barriers to education for incarcerated individuals. Additionally, Alex fosters communication and collaboration among prison programs across Pennsylvania, facilitating a network for sharing resources and best practices.

Emme Magliato

Yale University, Connecticut: Program Assistant for Yale Prison Education Initiative

Emme Magliato (she/they) is the Program Assistant for the Yale Prison Education Initiative. Through their current role, she provides support to incarcerated students pursuing and building college in prison in Connecticut. As the first in her family to go to college, she believes deeply in the transformative and imaginative power of education, and is dedicated to expanding access to higher education to all students. Originally from Poughkeepsie, she’s thrilled to be back home in the Hudson Valley and to be in beloved community with other practitioners during the BPI Summer Residency!

Sheila Meiman

Prison Education Specialist, United States: NASFAA – National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

Sheila Meiman is an experienced advocate, practitioner, consultant, and analyst in the field of higher education in prison.  She has expertise in a range of topics in her field, including STEM education, financial aid, program creation and expansion, student and academic support, data, transfer and direct-to-work credentials, and technology. She has over a dozen years of experience as a program administrator, managed a first-round Second Chance Pell site, and has served as a mathematics professor for both campus and system-impacted students. She currently serves as the Prison Education Specialist at the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

Meiman holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Master of Science in Engineering from Purdue University.  She also holds a Masters Certification in Program/Project Management from American University. In their Vanguard Series, NJBIZ named Professor Meiman one of the Leaders in Higher Education in New Jersey.

Silas Nogueira de Melo

Universidade Estadual do Maranhão (UEMA), Brazil: Professor

Silas N. Melo is an associate professor of Geography at the Universidade Estadual do Maranhão (Brazil), where he researches spatial criminology and cartography of violence. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology (Centre International de Criminologie Comparée – CiCC), Université Montréal, Quebec. He is part of the Reintegrate Program (Programa Reintegrar) team, Brazil’s first in-person higher education initiative.


Rebecca Seeger

Northern Arizona University, Arizona: Research Associate

Rebecca Seeger is a retired Colonel, USAF, serving for 30 years as an electrical engineer, program manager, and group commander. After retirement, in 2022, she earned a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction at Northern Arizona University with the focus on college-in-prison programs. Her dad was also in the Air Force, so my hometown is the world!


Ella Siegrist

Washington University in St. Louis Missouri: WashU Prison Education Project Academic Program Manager

Ella Siegrist is the Academic Program Manager at Washington University’s Prison Education Project. In this role, she coordinates PEP programming and advises students at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correctional Center (WERDCC) in Vandalia, Missouri. Ella has an MA in sociology from WashU and has done research on gender, healthcare, and incarceration. She is very excited to join this year’s BPI summer residency cohort.


Shirley Sullivan

Wesleyan University, Connecticut: Center for Prison Education Program Coordinator

Originally from Connecticut, Shirley Sullivan is the Program Coordinator for Cheshire CI with the Wesleyan Center for Prison Education. She is a Wesleyan University alumna, having earned her BA in Dance and Psychology with a minor in Education Studies. She continues her practice as a dance artist outside of work, currently teaching as a Visiting Instructor of Dance with the Wesleyan Dance Department. Throughout her Wesleyan career and beyond, Shirley’s choreographic work has been politically and socially driven, with her senior capstone focusing on mass incarceration and injustices in the carceral system, leading to her becoming the Center for Prison Education Fellow at Wesleyan University in 2021. After two years as the Fellow, she moved into the CPE Program Coordinator position and now manages DOC communications, faculty/student support, and logistical operations in Cheshire Correctional Institute, as well as operates as primary Wesleyan on-campus undergraduate support for TAs in both facilities. Shirley comes from a justice-impacted family and values her work with the CPE because it allows for her to provide support directly to her own communities in a way that she believes can lead to lasting change.


Mary Nell Tratuner

University at Buffalo, New York: Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology

Mary Nell Trautner is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University at Buffalo, and is spearheading the development and launch of UB’s College in Prison Program, a BA degree program that will be offered at a nearby maximum security prison. In addition, she is creating an interdisciplinary Prison Studies Certificate to be offered on UB’s main campus that will give undergraduate students the opportunity to gain intellectual depth about issues related to prisons and incarceration on multiple levels. She has also been working to create strong campus supports and networks for formerly incarcerated students. In this work, Trautner works closely with numerous community-based organizations and campus offices to develop best practices for students impacted by the criminal justice system. Her research centers on social inequality and social justice, which she examines along two primary axes of social life: law and legal institutions, and gender, sexuality, and the body. She is currently in the planning stages of a collaborative project with colleagues Ashley Barr and Veronica Horowitz that seeks to understand the “collateral benefits” of college in prison, and is a member of the Justice and Blameworthiness Lab at The College of New Jersey, analyzing prosecutorial decision-making in accidental death cases. She is also working on an NSF-funded project about how families cope with and make decisions about their child’s birth injuries, and is collaborating with PhD students on a range of additional projects, including research on juvenile justice, gender and music, gender in the workplace, and gender inclusivity.


Benjamin Walker

The University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK: Founder of the Crito Project

Ben has been teaching in UK prisons since 2013, and in 2018 founded the Crito Project, a small charity which delivers accredited higher education in UK prisons, in partnership with the University of East Anglia. Today we teach in two prisons, and by 2025 we plan to expand our curriculum to encompass the first year of a degree program.


  • By providing your email or phone number, you are agreeing to receive news and updates from BPI via email or text message. You may change your preferences at any time using the link found at the bottom of every email or by replying 'HELP' for help or 'STOP' to cancel text messages.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.