The Vera Institute of Justice is thrilled to announce the second Corrections Education Leadership Academy (CELA) cohort.

Launched in 2021 with the support of Ascendium Education Group, CELA is an annual leadership academy for current and future state corrections education leaders. Over the course of the yearlong program, members learn best practices in the delivery of education in prison, expand their professional networks, and build the policy and program development skills necessary to create and drive equitable, high-quality postsecondary educational programs in prisons.

This year’s participants include seven corrections education directors and eight college faculty and administrators from 14 states. The members of the 2022–2023 CELA cohort are:

  • Amy Biggs, curriculum director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
  • Regina Diamond-Rodriguez, director of transitions, New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons – Rutgers University
  • Steve Fannon, programs administrator, Nebraska Department of Correctional Services
  • Teresa Foley, interim dean of prison education and special programs, Connecticut State Community College
  • Jecrois Jean-Baptiste, director of the office of educational services, New Jersey Department of Corrections
  • Dana Lesperance, head of school, Corrections Education, Vermont Department of Corrections
  • Jamie Newberry, Florida
  • Michelle Pfaff, deputy director of education, North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
  • LiAnn Richardson, division chair for prison education, Trinidad State College, Colorado
  • Rachel Sander, prison education director, State University of New York (SUNY) System Administration
  • Sultana Shabazz, dean of corrections education, Tacoma Community College, Washington
  • Yazmene Thomas, education administrator, New Mexico Corrections Department
  • Tracy Westmoreland, data and policy analyst, Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development
  • William Young, dean of instruction, Ingram State Technical College, Alabama

Vera welcomes the 2022–2023 cohort and looks forward to exploring ways members can improve and transform the delivery of college programs in prison.