Meet the Team

The University of Utah Prison Education Project (UPEP) is a volunteer based project. Eighty volunteers have given over 5,600 hours to the project. Volunteers work both inside and outside the prison, devoting their time to teaching, tutoring, organizing fundraisers, reading applications, lecturing, and advocacy work among many other projects. We are grateful to each and everyone one of the people that make up the UPEP team. Meet some of them below:

Leadership

Erin L. Castro, PhD

Director & Co-Founder

Erin L. Castro, PhD

Director & Co-Founder
Dr. Erin L. Castro is Director and Co-Founder of UPEP and an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership; Policy at the University of Utah. Her research focuses on post-secondary educational opportunity during incarceration through university-prison partnerships. She is a Strategic Organizing Member of the Alliance for Higher Education in Prison.

Caisa Royer, PhD, JD

Associate Director
 caisa.royer@law.utah.edu

Caisa Royer, PhD, JD

Associate Director
 caisa.royer@law.utah.edu

Sarah Manley

Program Coordinator
 sarah.manley@utah.edu

Sarah Manley

Program Coordinator
 sarah.manley@utah.edu

Ruben Gomez

UPEP College of Education Fellow
 rrgomez91@gmail.com

Ruben Gomez

UPEP College of Education Fellow
 rrgomez91@gmail.com

Elliot Morris, MA

Book Club Coordinator
 elliot.m.morris@gmail.com

Elliot Morris, MA

Book Club Coordinator
 elliot.m.morris@gmail.com

Estefanie Padilla

Graduate Research Assistant
 estefanie.aguilar@utah.edu

Estefanie Padilla

Graduate Research Assistant
 estefanie.aguilar@utah.edu

Interns

Hannah Oldroyd

Sanila Math

Jenna Service

Volunteers

Halie Bahr

Alumni, University of Utah

Kate Conyers

Attorney

Nico Dicou

Alumni, University of Utah

Chris Hodson

Faculty, BYU

Blanca Yagüe

Graduate Student, University of Utah

Katie Rolfson

Undergraduate Student, BYU

Matthew Mason

Faculty, BYU

Olivia Sutton

Undergraduate Student, Westminster College

Kim Buhler-Thomas

Attorney

Chris Mead

Honors Faculty, University of Utah

Clayton Szczech

Graduate Student, University of Utah

Patricia Robello

Alumni, University of Utah

Admissions Team

Maria Alberto

Ph.D. student Department of English, University of Utah

Maria Alberto

Ph.D. student Department of English, University of Utah

Andrea Brunelle

Professor, Geography Department, University of Uta

Andrea Brunelle

Professor, Geography Department, University of Uta

Edén Cortez

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Educational Leadership & Policy, University of Utah

Edén Cortez

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Educational Leadership & Policy, University of Utah

Lepa Espinoza

Assistant Professor (Lecturer) Department of English, University of Utah

Lepa Espinoza

Assistant Professor (Lecturer) Department of English, University of Utah

Nena Feng

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, University of Utah

Nena Feng

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English, University of Utah

Aaron Fischer

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Utah

Aaron Fischer

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology, University of Utah

Jeremy D. Franklin

Data Manager, United Way of Salt Lake

Jeremy D. Franklin

Data Manager, United Way of Salt Lake

Andrea Garavito Martinez

Community School Facilitator, Canyons School District

Andrea Garavito Martinez

Community School Facilitator, Canyons School District

Cindy Huynh

Professor, Ethnic Studies San Jose City College

Cindy Huynh

Professor, Ethnic Studies San Jose City College

Roberto Martinez

Mental Health Intervention Specialist, University of Utah

Roberto Martinez

Mental Health Intervention Specialist, University of Utah

Christopher Mead

Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Honors College, University of Utah

Christopher Mead

Assistant Professor (Lecturer), Honors College, University of Utah

Sylvia Mendoza

Lecturer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Sylvia Mendoza

Lecturer, University of Texas at San Antonio

Elliot Morris

College Sales Representative and Consultant, W.W. Norton & Company

Elliot Morris

College Sales Representative and Consultant, W.W. Norton & Company

Danielle Olden

Assistant Professor, History, University of Utah

Danielle Olden

Assistant Professor, History, University of Utah

Dustin Williams

Research Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Utah

Dustin Williams

Research Associate Professor, Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Utah

David Roh

Associate Professor, English, University of Utah

David Roh

Associate Professor, English, University of Utah

Jorge Rojas

Director of Learning and Engagement, Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Jorge Rojas

Director of Learning and Engagement, Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Irene Yoon

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy, University of Utah

Irene Yoon

Assistant Professor, Educational Leadership & Policy, University of Utah

Judith Simcox

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Judith Simcox

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Christie Toth

Assistant Professor, Writing and Rhetoric Studies, University of Utah

Christie Toth

Assistant Professor, Writing and Rhetoric Studies, University of Utah

Support a Student

Support a UPEP student by donating today. To donate, simply click the button below.
Your donations help fund books, supplies, and faculty instruction costs.
To become involved as a UPEP volunteer, click below to learn more.

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